Wit�s End is many things: a quest novel�a young woman�s search for the truth about her dead father�'s past; a mystery�the story of a long-ago murder in which that father might have been complicit; and a game�one that ensnares readers in cunnin...more
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Update: Just because you get a book for free does not mean you should read it. There was no point or direction to this book. The storyline was very scattered, none of the characters were developed enough to like or emphathize with them, and it was peppered with unnecessary profanity and moral issues that came from left field. T...more
Also, I just have something against people spending too much time on their computers in novels (unless its SF). I asked myself about this, and telephon...more
The UK jacket copy made the book sound like a lighthearted romp with a fictional detective come to life to help the heroine.
Instead, the book is a rumination on grief, the creative process, and just who "owns" a creative work once it is accessible by the public. Does it belong to the author? To the fan? To the real life people & events on whom the fictional...more
In a change of pace from her best-selling The Jane Austen Book Club, Fowler has written a mystery that's barely a mystery but is every bit an absorbing and funny novel. Rima, a woman who has mastered the art of losing (including her mother, brother, and father) arrives in Santa Cruz, CA, to stay with her godmother, the famous and reclusive mystery writer Addison Early, whose book titles and plots provide chuckles throughout. Rima wants to learn the truth of the na...more
Rima grew up with very little real information about her godmother, the famous mystery writer Addison Early. She knows that one of Addison's characters is named after her father and that she, herself, is named after another of her characters.
After her father's death, Rima visits her godmother determined to find out more about her family and the relationship between Addison and...more
We start with the protagonist, Rima Lanisell, arriving at the Santa Cruz, CA home of her godmother Addison Early, famous (think: Stephen King famous) author of a serious of mystery/thrillers featuring the character Maxwell Lane, and antagonist Bim Lanisell (Bin Laden?), s...more
I think the low ratings came from people who were expecting a standard cookie-cutter whodunit instead of charm. I'd heard of Holy City near Santa Cruz before -- when we lived in California -- and had spent time along the coast so appreciate descriptions of fog and the seaside.
Our heroine, Rima, is thrice bereaved and visits...more
If you read that quotation and think, "That's a cop-out. Fowler toys with the structure of a mystery but never really solves it, and...more
It was very... current. In a way that I've never experienced in a novel. There were constant cultural references that were very now... polar bears on LOST for example, crazy fan-fic and website forums of fans.
I never understood the...more
Critical reception of Wit's End ran the full gamut. Like The Jane Austen Book Club, the novel should appeal to lovers of mystery books and to readers who enjoy pondering the relationship between characters, their creators, and their fan bases. Yet while these critics couldn't put the book down, others panned it. Pop culture references, such as the Internet Wiki-wars (where fans analyze Maxwell Lane's life), perhaps make up for what some critics described as relatively insipid characters and myst...more
Even though I liked the author's voice and the fact that the main character was largely unlikeable, thus quite real, I just couldn't get over the inconsistency of the plot. I often found myself re-reading paragraphs or pages because I wasn't able to follow the events, or even understand who was doing the narration. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't be able to summarize the plot.
I understand that the author wanted to create a "mystery" atmosphere, but it all...more
I think, unfortunately, that this book is misreprented by the tag line on the cover and the publisher description; both those seem to promise an overarching mystery, a sinister encroachment of the both the past and of an author's fans.
What it actually is - and succeeds quite well at - is the first person narrative of a woman without roots trying to find some purpose. Rima struggles with grief, tries to figure out the puzzle of her father's life, tries both to connect and to avoid connec...more
Even after finishing it, I could not tell you what this book is about. It was boring, and didn't ever seem to go anywhere.
There was only one paragraph that made me smile and it was, "The actor was campy and sardonic. Sarcasm without wit. Rima had once taught middle school; she'd had enough sarcasm without wit to last a lifetime."
The only redeeming quali...more
It's a book about grief, and loss, and who a person is, and how others percieve them, including what happens on internet social networking sites. This is made more complicated by adding the question about how this relates to fictional characters, and who owns those fictional characters. For example, the main character's father was a newspaper colunist and wrote co...more
Fowler also wrote The Jane Austen Book Club, which I never read just because it had the words “book club” in the title, and that just seems like marketing rather than storytelling. Anyhow, that one was a bestseller, which means exactly nothing because Stephenie Meyer could wallpaper her house with the pages of her bestsellers and can’t...more
I read in a professional review somewhere that this book feels "up to the minute fresh," and that is really an excellent way to put it. Blogging, forums, Dubbya's...more
"Instead, in the moments between people's knocking on the door, she said that her father's death, being what it was and pretty awful all by itself, had reminded her of Oliv...more