This book needs to include more of Mr. Fairlie's narratives and a stronger male protagonist, and then I would have given it five stars. It also didn'tThis book needs to include more of Mr. Fairlie's narratives and a stronger male protagonist, and then I would have given it five stars. It also didn't help that I had to finish this book super quickly, so I probably missed some exciting parts while I speed read through it....more
I tried to read this book a few years ago for the sake of reading more British literature (plus I head it was a good read), but I couldn't go any fartI tried to read this book a few years ago for the sake of reading more British literature (plus I head it was a good read), but I couldn't go any farther than 50 pages before I put it down until now. I had to read it for a 19C British lit class, and I'm glad I did. Once I passed the 50-page mark and read the more interesting parts involving the mystery of the painting, I got into the groove of it. It also helped that it was a short read. ...more
I won a copy from Goodreads, so thank you for the opportunity. When I received this book, the first thing that struck me was how appealing the cover wI won a copy from Goodreads, so thank you for the opportunity. When I received this book, the first thing that struck me was how appealing the cover was. They say don't judge a book by its cover, but I really felt inclined to read the book after discovering how neat (for lack of a better word) the cover looked. Although the jacket cover was quite flimsy, much like the sort of annoying paper I use to bake cookies, I had to admit it was a nice touch seeing as the book is about the events after an avalanche. In other words, the characters' visions are obscured by the snow and that's the kind of effect the jacket cover creates when you keep it around your book; if you don't hold it down tight enough, it's even hard to read the bold black lettering on your book.
Besides the physical appeal of the book, I would also have to say Joyce does well with establishing a suspenseful atmosphere. Throughout the whole book, from the very first line to the very last line, you feel inclined to read it to find out what the heck is going on. Although I admit the ending is somewhat predictable, as the reader, you are curious to know what is going on. Yes, this book is definitely a page turner.
I started the book an hour before my first class, and I was already about 50 pages into the novel. I have to admit, it was hard to put that book down and concentrate in class. Although I also admit I was relieved when other students finally arrived because I was reading at 7AM, and the classroom was eerily quiet. And let me tell you something, when you're reading a book about a couple wandering around in an area where no other life forms seem to exist, you kind of feel like you're there with them, especially when there is no one around while you're reading. I have never felt so vulnerable reading a book in the comfort of my own home until I read this book.
Anyway, if I had to sum this all up, I felt like I was watching Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds again. Joyce is fantastic at building up that kind of suspense throughout the whole novel to keep you on edge until the final blow hits you.
Moving on to the negative qualities about this book: I felt like too much information was given at times which may have made this book seem somewhat predictable. I felt like Joyce was telling you what was going on rather than showing you, but after having a discussion with my professor about "showing and telling," I realized it is all up to the style of the author. If this was magical realism, I would expect Joyce to show more than tell, but this isn't, so I'll forgive him. The other thing that bothered me is I usually feel connected to at least one character in a book I'm reading, but I feel like both main characters were somewhat distant. I also didn't particularly care for the writing style. When I first started the book, I was ready to stop for a moment because I didn't feel like the sentences flowed like they should. Fortunately, I got used to it. I forgot about how the book read and just kept reading to find out what happened.
To sum it all up, the fact that Joyce can create the perfect atmosphere for a thriller makes up for what I consider his superficial characters. I guess if you're curious enough to want to know what happens to the couple after they get caught up in the avalanche, this will seem like a page-turner to you as well. I think most people are bothered about the fact that the book didn't feel very original, or the ending just didn't meet people's expectations, but if you think about it, nothing is original. It's true that the ending didn't satisfy me as much as I would have liked it to, but this book led me on a fun ride. If nothing else, the handful of thoughtful quotes might get you thinking about the way you live your life, and that's always a good thing....more
If I weren't reading this immediately after reading James Fenimore Cooper, I probably would have enjoyed it more. I do really appreciate the humorousIf I weren't reading this immediately after reading James Fenimore Cooper, I probably would have enjoyed it more. I do really appreciate the humorous scenes between Rochester and Jane, namely the one scene where Jane soaks Rochester with water in order to put the fire out. Unfortunately, such silly scenes were not prominent in this novel, and therefore, rendered this novel as not as enjoyable and entertaining as it could have been. I get why people make such a big deal about this book though. It's refreshing to have an independent female character every now and then....more