I love Stephen King, but this was one of the least enjoyable books I've read from him. I didn't enjoy the subject matter, and the characters felt veryI love Stephen King, but this was one of the least enjoyable books I've read from him. I didn't enjoy the subject matter, and the characters felt very flat and stereotypical. The plot was extremely predictable. I would recommend you read one of SK's other novels - he has a lot of great ones....more
**spoiler alert** I struggled with rating this book. The first 1/4-1/3 of the book I'd give 5 stars. I loved seeing the world through Sebastian's inno**spoiler alert** I struggled with rating this book. The first 1/4-1/3 of the book I'd give 5 stars. I loved seeing the world through Sebastian's innocent cat eyes. And when the ants started their assault on the humans and all the animals started changing, I was blown away. I thought it was one of the most bizarre, creative things I'd read in a long while! Sebastian's transformation into Mort(e) was awesome, and I LOVE the story behind Mort(e)'s chosen name, how he confronted his "master," and became a warrior in the fight against the humans. What followed from there, however, was not as enjoyable, thus the three-star rating. Below are a few observations/issues I had:
#1: character motivation - I just didn't believe in the strength of Mort(e) and Sheba's love. Mort's relentless search for Sheba drives the story forward, but it felt like just that - a plot device. There just wasn't enough done to establish their deep relationship in the beginning...at least not enough to make it believable that Mort would devote his life to wandering the ends of the earth looking for her. Maybe that's because....
#2: this book isn't about the characters - it's an allegory, like Animal Farm, but about religion. It starts out fairly subtly, but by the end the author is laying it on so thick, he's practically beating you over the head with it and the book felt like a chore to get through. (I'm not religious, and not particularly intrigued by the themes present in this novel...I just don't care.) Religion aside, though, the magic kind of went out of the book when I realized that the characters were all just hollow toy soldiers the author was using as symbols to act out a pretend religious debate.
#3: darkness and despair - this is a positive note - the book is bleak! There are lots of dark, depressing scenes. Way more than you would expect from a story that features animals as main characters. This ain't Charlotte's Web, people. The ants were truly scary! Some scenes really made my skin crawl. I respect the author for going to those extremes, and refusing to portray any character as purely good, right, and wholesome. (Well, except Sheba. ...more
**spoiler alert** I feel like I'm probably going to be in the minority here...but I didn't love this book. Yes, I cried at the end. Yes, I love animal**spoiler alert** I feel like I'm probably going to be in the minority here...but I didn't love this book. Yes, I cried at the end. Yes, I love animals and I think baby elephants are cute. And yeah, I know this is a book written for children...
BUT I felt the author minimized the horrors of how the animals were living in isolation and captivity. I also felt that the way Ivan saved everyone (through his hand drawn billboard) was very unbelievable and deus ex machina. And the ending....I'm glad Ivan gets to be with his own kind, but let's face it, he's still in a zoo. ...more
Wow, how much I did NOT ENJOY this book! A big part of it was the narrator of the audio book - she over-enunciated every single syllable, dragging outWow, how much I did NOT ENJOY this book! A big part of it was the narrator of the audio book - she over-enunciated every single syllable, dragging out each word and speaking in a low, drugged monotone. It was absolutely brutal to listen to. I actually sped up the narration speed and it was STILL annoying. So that probably made me hate the main character and the entire book even more.
But I wouldn't have liked the main character anyway - she was so timid and mousy and damaged...ugh. If I had to hear, "I dug my fingernails into my thighs" one more time...
Also, the story. It was a mystery in a very loose sense of the word. I enjoy mysteries that you can follow the clues to solve. This mystery just kind of rambled on and not a lot was discovered, until the very end when everything is just explained during the epilogue (the narrator sounds like she's reading a laundry list). The author threw in a couple of "twists" at the end, but at that point I just didn't care anymore.
I stopped listening to this multiple times and kept picking it back up and listening for as long as I could stand it....I guess I was hoping there would be some sort of pay-off in the end (there wasn't)....more
I was really disappointed by this book! I read several reviews that compared this book to Agatha Christie, and said there was a big "twist" at the endI was really disappointed by this book! I read several reviews that compared this book to Agatha Christie, and said there was a big "twist" at the end. Wow, that couldn't be farther from the truth!
First of all, there are 30-some chapters in the book. It takes around twenty chapters before anything even remotely starts happening. I predicted who the killer was very early on. I went on reading, hoping that I was wrong and the author would surprise me with a clever twist. But nope, everything unfolded exactly as I suspected. Lame!...more
Not a fun read, but it's not supposed to be. Plath's pain radiates off the page, and her disappointment with the world is palpable. It's definitely anNot a fun read, but it's not supposed to be. Plath's pain radiates off the page, and her disappointment with the world is palpable. It's definitely an unforgettable reading experience.
I will say, a lot of reviews I've read compare this novel to The Catcher in the Rye. I understand why that comparison has been made, but for some reason the main character in this book didn't resonate with me the way Holden did.
This was my first Harlan Coben book. It might also be my last, although from the reviews I read, it sounds like he has written better books.
In my opiThis was my first Harlan Coben book. It might also be my last, although from the reviews I read, it sounds like he has written better books.
In my opinion, this was a poorly written book with flat characters. That includes the main character, Kat. She was never really fleshed out as a character. Why would she still be pining over a guy who dumped her eighteen years ago? And ok, if I accept that fact, I cannot accept that she never really Googled him or used her cop resources to run a search on him. She didn't seem like a 40-yr-old character to me. Did her maturity level freeze when she was dumped 18 yrs ago? She's supposedly a tough cop who didn't really have anything but her job -- so then why couldn't she put the pieces together a little quicker??? Apparently in Coben's world, being a cop means you like to drink whiskey that doesn't taste like "fish ass," not necessarily solve crimes.
Stereotypes abound in this novel. Cops with drinking problems. Closeted gay guy who can't come out of the closet for fear of judgement from society. Hippy-dippy yoga instructor. Dumb guys who try to pick up chicks using the cheesiest lines imaginable. Beautiful girl who dismiss said guys with a derisive, snarky comment. Evil guy. Evil guy's henchmen (one of whom is like a mix between Lennie from Of Mice and Men and Leatherface). And long lost lovers who still love each other but tragically just can't communicate it to the other... But actually, any one of these characters/story lines could've been really riveting, if any of the characters or plot lines were developed in any way. But they weren't.
The absolute worst part of this book was the writing. Just bad...really stupid, cringe-worthy lines that sailed right past ironic social commentary and went straight to corny and unimaginative. And the dialogue....oh so unbelievable - that's not how people really speak to each other!!!! Why are they talking like that?? Because the author is using this moment to add exposition or further the story in some way. That, and nothing more.
I listened to the audiobook, and that probably didn't help matters because I didn't love the narrator. She made some of the male characters sound like Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High - and not in a good way. Then again, maybe she was just keying in on the stupidity of the dialogue. Some characters had heavy Boston accents, while others did not. (Kat's mom and aunt both have thick accents, and she doesn't have a trace of one.)
Ok I'm pretty much done ranting...I will say that the major crime in this novel is pretty sick and twisted, but not necessarily original. It was another thing that would've been better had the author developed the storyline more. I'm always looking for a great mystery, and this one just wasn't it for me....more
This book was recommended to me by a friend. Although I certainly do not always agree with his politics, author Greg Gutfeld is pretty funny at times.This book was recommended to me by a friend. Although I certainly do not always agree with his politics, author Greg Gutfeld is pretty funny at times. Gutfeld makes some good points about how people are easily influenced by what is "cool," and outlines how the "liberal media" goes about constructing cool.
Personally, I agree with some of Gutfeld's ideas - mainly that too many "big government" programs are supplanting any semblance of real community we have left in this country. I also agree with his chapters on gun control (he believes people have a right to bear arms, but we need to make it harder for mentally ill people to obtain weapons) and the general dumbing down of society. (He posits that Mike Judge's film, Idiocracy, could become our country's reality - and I don't disagree with him there.)
There were more things that I did not agree with, however. Gutfeld seems to have some issues with women. His musings on the fairer sex ranged from annoying (more women should be stay at home moms like the old days) to downright offensive: "women are constantly giving away the greatest power they have to offer the world: their vaginas." Sounds like someone was rejected a lot in high school, hmm Greg Gutfeld??? The resentment is strong in you!!
Mainly I read this book so I could have some spirited debates with my friend. I agreed with some points, but disagreed with the majority. I don't mind reading ideas that are different from my own - it's good for ya.
After all his analysis about what's considered "cool," what is not, what should be, etc...I just have to say that to me, the ultimate "cool" is NOT CARING what's cool and what's not. Don't waste your life worrying about stuff like that!!! ...more
Wow, this was a great book! I really loved it. It was well written, and a great story about a man who has the ability to live his life over and over aWow, this was a great book! I really loved it. It was well written, and a great story about a man who has the ability to live his life over and over again. Really interesting! It was a little long, but it was a great story and well worth the time....more
I liked this book...didn't like it at first. I was afraid it was going down a predictable ghost story road, but Joe Hill did end up putting a unique tI liked this book...didn't like it at first. I was afraid it was going down a predictable ghost story road, but Joe Hill did end up putting a unique twist on the story about 1/3-1/2 way in. I didn't care for the main characters at first, but I ended up liking them a little by the end.
You can really tell that he's Stephen King's son! Overall I'd say it was a decent read, and I will check out Hill's other novels. ...more