The bad news: I really shouldn't have.
It's hard to pan a book that is reviewed and received so well. While I was reading this book, and for the most part being bored to tears, I kept thinking "re-read that part, focus more, get into it goddam it! it's supposed to be good." For a long time I was hesitant to give up on this book b/c I didn't want to feel like a failure and a quitter. So I finished. Sort of. Okay, toward the end it's all just more of the same so I skipp ...more
Facts anchored the world. He had never seen a basketball game in his life, but always consulted the standings of the NBA, the won-lost column, the percentages, and the games-behind, and only then returned to page one and the unstable milieu of reporters' narratives where he had to guess at the life behind the news. What he saw...more
I seem to forget how good of an author Ward Just is until I pick up and read one of his books. His novels are subtle, thought-provoking and character driven. His protagonists are not action heroes, but instead psychologically wrestle with moral dilemmas. Thus the reader spends a lot of time inside the heads of the author's characters and although one may not agree with the decisions they make you understand the motivation behind them. There's also a political slant or a glimpse inside ...more
All these years selling books and I've never read Ward Just-what a pity. As a former Washington Journalist he understands well the current political scene and the trickle-down effects of the war on terror and individuals. We are all impacted.
Not a flashy writer but his prose is so elegantly crafted and evocative ( you can smell the French cigarette smoke wafting across the page). His characters are complicated. And no one-at least in this book-is innocent entirely.
There's a scene ...more
Florette was married to Thomas Railles, an American portraitist in his sixties whose association with two childhood friends, CIA agents, raises the question of whether this killing was payback or no ...more
A well-respected__if generally underappreciated__writer for more than three decades, Ward Just, who began his writing career as a journalist for Newsweek and the Washington Post, evokes a strong sense of place and character in Forgetfulness, his fifteenth novel. Previous novels of his have been short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award (see below). The story that Just tells here__thriller, psychological character study, social commentary__fills a gap in what critics see as...more
"Ward Just's thrillers are so subtle that they risk sounding dull, as though he's engaged in a battle against excess and bombast. The movement in his stories is slight, but the forces at work are tremendous. That muted power has never been more unsettling than in his new novel, a response to Sept. 11 that stretches the boundaries of an already voluminous genre."
Intriguing, right? It is an upsetting novel - it's about a man ...more
The characters have a lot of potential, but the author doesn't develop any of them to a deep enough level to be satisfactory to the reader. You ...more
This is the antithesis of a plot drive page turner. It is a quiet examination of one person's interior landscape as he looks back and re-examines his life, the choices he has made and decisions he now makes about how - or whether - to mo ...more
Ward Just graduated from Cranbrook School in 1953. He briefly attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He started his career as a print journalist for the Waukegan (Illinois) News-Sun. He was also a correspondent for Newsweek and The Washington Post from 1959 to 1969, after which he left ...more