It has been a long time since I've read a book this good. It had intrigue, suspense, and a deeply developed plot. I just wish I knew who wrote behind...moreIt has been a long time since I've read a book this good. It had intrigue, suspense, and a deeply developed plot. I just wish I knew who wrote behind the name Philip Carter, because I'd look into their other works if I don't already know them. I suppose, though, that not knowing the author's identity just adds to the mystery of the novel. (less)
I couldn't be happier to finish this book. The only reason I didn't close the pages and happily return it to the library was because I was using it in...moreI couldn't be happier to finish this book. The only reason I didn't close the pages and happily return it to the library was because I was using it in a book challenge, otherwise that would have been my reaction 100 pages into the story.
I'm aware that books are geared towards a particular audience, and I'm well aware that Giffin's plot had zero connection with me. Even thoug I'm married, and even though the two main characters are married females, this novel could not have resonated further from me than if she wrote about an elderly gentleman suffering from prostate problems. Despite the differences (there have been many a book that I can't relate to) Emily Giffin managed to make me regret choosing this book. A rare feat for me.
Every character you interact with in Giffin's book is a stereotype. A "grandmotherly" teacher, a "wisened" principal, a "stuck-up" rich neighbor, a "bitter" single mother, a "bored and depressed" housewife. If Emily Giffin were to introduce a new character, I would immediately know what they looked like, what their personality contained, and how they felt. It's as if Giffin used her character's jobs as allegories. Tessa, one of the main characters, is a stay at home mom, symbolizing to the reader that she's bored, lonely, tired, and regretful. Her husband is a doctor, therefore, he's overworked, unavailable at home, and smarter than his wife.
Talk about being insulting. There were mutliple occassions while reading that I felt extremely irritated with what I was reading, as if Giffin was looking down upon people who fell under a certain category or asking as if a certain group of people were idiots.
The nail in the coffin, for me, though, was when she put the blame of a terrible situation on the innocent victim. While I personnally hae no experience with the situation, I'm mature enough and well-versed enough in the world to know that that the way the problem was handled was complete bull.
Sorry, Emily Giffin, I tried to give you a chance. I was hopeful going into your book that I'd found a new author to read and enjoy, but alas, I have instead felt like two days of my time was wasted. Rather than being lost in a good story, I have experienced anger and frustration over a story I did not enjoy. (less)
As a fan of the Dark Tower series, it was nice seeing so many references to the series. However, I did feel like the world of the Territories (the set...moreAs a fan of the Dark Tower series, it was nice seeing so many references to the series. However, I did feel like the world of the Territories (the setting for most of the Talisman) was lacking in this novel. The details that drew me into 12 year old Jack Sawyer's world were missing this time around in Black House. In fact, it felt more like a side story to Roland and his ka-tet from Mid-World, rather than a reunion with a beloved hero.
If you're looking at the book as a piece on its own, Black House was very good; very dark and creepy. However, if you go into it expecting to meet once more with the character from the Talisman and travel old familiar paths than you'll be a bit disappointed. (less)
Normally, I read books that are heavy with character description and plot details, so I had to step back and keep an open mind with Life safari. I won...moreNormally, I read books that are heavy with character description and plot details, so I had to step back and keep an open mind with Life safari. I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I chose to enter it, because I love animals and love reading anything that touches on them. Though that's not what Safari ended up being about, I still liked the book. I wouldn't say I loved it; as much as I tried, I just could not get over how little Strelecky talked about what Young Jack and Ma Ma Gombe saw on their journey. The whole point of the book was to talk about The Big Five in Life, which implies that everybody should have 5 goals/wishes/feats they want to accomplish, see, and/or experience before they die. Later in the book, Strelecky points out that there will always be obstacles in the pursuit of one's Big Five, and in order to overcome them, we have to find others that have already accomplished our Big Five goal. The concept made me stop and think about what my Big Five would be and how I could achieve them, which I have no doubt is what Strelecky wanted me to take away from the story. I didn't mind doing that, but what did annoy me enough to not to give this story more than 3 stars was the "cover-up" aspect to the whole book. When I read Safari's synopsis, I imagined myself diving deep into this young man's journey through Africa, gaining a clear picture of what the country must look and feel like. Instead, Jack's African safari was just a cover-up for Strelecky; a way to slip in his ultimate message, The Big Five.
With a few changes to the type, this story could have taken place in China or the United States with two old women versus one or a group of travelers. The author found the setting and characters to be second in importance to his theme, and while some find that to be the whole point of great novels, don't claim that the book will "open your eyes to the amazing continent of Africa" or tell me I am going to "marvel with them at the animals they encounter." I did nothing of the sort within these pages, however I did cause myself to ask some thought-provoking questions about my life's goals and ambitions.
In the end, what I expected of the book and what it delivered was not one and the same, but it was still enough of an enjoyable read for me that I don't feel like it was a waste of my time. (less)