Really weird reading experience. On the one hand, it is very well-written. So well-written that you really don't feel the burden of the 770+ pages, anReally weird reading experience. On the one hand, it is very well-written. So well-written that you really don't feel the burden of the 770+ pages, and stylistically, it's charming and fun. But...
And here's the 'but', while each pages individually reads easily and well, somehow the impression from the whole book together is of this lump of stuff that really needed to be cut down. And I honestly don't know how to explain it better.
I also couldn't get to connect to any of the characters. They neither evoked special like nor dislike in me. Theo just seemed like the cliche of a literary teenager - the only way the author can think of showing a person realistically coping with their destroyed life is to have them sink so far into drugs and alcohol that they should have been long since arrested just by looking at them on the street. That still fails in making him interesting. At least Henry from The Secret History was actually clever.
Speaking of drugs, Theo shows up in New York after two years of non-stop addiction, and doesn't show even the smallest of withdrawal symptoms? Really? What the heck happened to shakes, screaming in the night, temper outbursts and all those other fun and pleasant things an addict actually goes though while cleaning-up, not to mention the cognitive repercussions of chomping up on all those pills at the tender age of thirteen?
I guess drug use has no consequences before the age of twenty.
The book has a very bidungsroman sort of feel to it, but it doesn't really provide any insight or revelation of interest. It's quite clever, and extremely crafted, but it lacks a certain spark that would make it better. plus it could lose a hundred pages of drug abuse and not be the worse for it. ...more
This book is a lot of fun, though I am still not convinced this is, indeed, the best mystery ever created. It has a very nifty gimmick, and it's definThis book is a lot of fun, though I am still not convinced this is, indeed, the best mystery ever created. It has a very nifty gimmick, and it's definitely up there (as is obvious by the rating I gave it) but I can't quite agree that it compares with Sayers' later work, for example. Or The Moonstone.
Regardless of this caveat, this is a book more than worth reading in its' own right. It reads fast, too, and is not bogged down in some of the details that mysteries sometimes like to heap. As spoilers actually matter here, I won't go into the plot, the gist of which revolves, of course, around the death (murder, hah) of one Roger Ackroyd who s surrounded by the usual hubbub of plotsy, conniving, secret-keeping characters, all of whom stand to benefit. And the rest is history, though Hercule Poirot himself, as a character, still does nothing for me.
Really cute and charming little book, full of literary allusions to random other books, and extremely literary sheep names that might make you think tReally cute and charming little book, full of literary allusions to random other books, and extremely literary sheep names that might make you think the owner is as big a nerd as I am (based on the names of my cats) though he's actually a pot-smoking disgruntled man fascinated by steamy romance novels full of "Pamelas".
It does a pretty good job of presenting the world from the point of view of a sheep, and making the sort of assumptions a sheep is likely to make - although I admit those are slightly creepy sheep with borderline psychic powers. Occasionally, though, just occasionally, the author's personal agendas and beliefs - or what seems like them - seep into the book through the mouths of her sheep, and grate a tiny little bit, but it is, on the whole, forgivable. After all, the world we see is the world we present.
Even more surprisingly, perhaps, it actually succeeds in being a mystery to the reader fairly well, although the reader, being the reader, does spend a substantial amount of time knowing a good deal more than his characters, which in this book actually makes sense, since they are sheep, the book avoids the trap of being completely dumb.
Of course, just like its close kin, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time this book is not meant to be read for the sake of the mystery - it's more of a gentle parody presented through the eyes of, well, sheep, looking at small-town life and changes in the modern world. Generally, it works quite well.
P.S.: I don't think I've ever written a review that uses the word 'sheep' quite so often, and i doubt I ever will again....more
Classic 19th century adventure, with plenty of drama, plenty of blood and gore, not to mention plenty of antisemitism, racism, and misogyny. There reaClassic 19th century adventure, with plenty of drama, plenty of blood and gore, not to mention plenty of antisemitism, racism, and misogyny. There really is no other way one could have a 19th century adventure - and, really, it amuses me more than annoys me. It would be nice if the dialogues on the book were not quite so incredibly wordy, with 'thee's, 'thy's and 'thou's.
Compared to Allan Quatermain, the narrator of this book is also quite a bit more dull and standard cookie-cutter, but admittedly the female characters - by definition - are quite a bit more vibrant and, well, exceptional, than the run-of-the-mill Victorian model female....more