I enjoyed reading the book, but I can't give it a 4. I mean, the story is well executed despite some flaws (and my copy is beautifully designed), but
I enjoyed reading the book, but I can't give it a 4. I mean, the story is well executed despite some flaws (and my copy is beautifully designed), but the major characters are sort of blank slates with some missing motivations, the language is sometimes superfluous, and parts of the plot feel melodramatic and overdone. But overall it was an enjoyable, fast read that pulled me in - I did dispense with 500 pages in a few days - and that is what I expected and wanted when I started it. Solid 3 stars. ...more
I want to give this book 4 stars, but something about it just didn't do it for me. It's very tightly constructed, but I felt like very often when Fra
I want to give this book 4 stars, but something about it just didn't do it for me. It's very tightly constructed, but I felt like very often when Franklin revealed a clue, I knew what would follow; I was not surprised or even really curious as to how the plot would move forward, and I felt like the reader was supposed to be engrossed and sort of jumpily involved in a way I wasn't. I shouldn't say nothing surprised me (the main, main secret Silas holds onto was a surprise to me, but after the first obvious clue, I guessed it), but sometimes they just felt too easy, and I'm not sure whether or when I was or wasn't supposed to be able to intuit the plot turns in that way.
There's nothing wrong with that. I don't read books to be shocked or to turn the pages quickly (though I could have felt more enthusiastic about turning them until about the 100th, when it began to move much more quickly). I read books because I love language and I love stories and characters and words and the meanings they make when they're put together. And while everything mostly seems right on those fronts, there's just something that feels a little flat.
I might say that the POV switches, which normally I'm all for, didn't always succeed for me, and the language sometimes read as inconsistent - probably in part due to the POV shifts, but I don't think the language inconsistencies always quite matched up in terms of perspective. Or, maybe better, sometimes I felt like the perspectives got muddled a bit. And in some ways it just didn't feel rich and tangible - and I don't mean that I wanted "purple prose" by any means (it was not purple; it's generally straightforward) but more that it just felt sort of stale and rote in places (which is not to say it was not sometimes lovely and heartbreaking and distinct - just not often enough). I wasn't looking for more description or pretty similes or whatever, but I wanted to feel more grounded in something I can't quite place. I just felt like something was missing sometimes, though the book had its moments - many of them. (I don't know; maybe it does deserve a 4).
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter features some really exquisite imagery, an intricate plot, great observations about and depictions of Southern (and Northern) racial politics, good details. But it just didn't...I don't know...spark much for me. Maybe it's just not my thing, but "my thing" is generally pretty varied, I think. I liked it; I finished it, but I just feel a little ambivalent, I guess.