Easy to read. Pulls you into the fictional situation. Occupation of main character should have helped him deal more effectively with his son - not whoEasy to read. Pulls you into the fictional situation. Occupation of main character should have helped him deal more effectively with his son - not wholly believable for that reason. Surprise/shock at the end is very abrupt. Just when everything seems to be coming right it is a real wrench for the reader. An unhappy end so startling does not make you feel satified with the read.
Still, I've heard the writer talk live so I can understand why unhaoppy endings may appeal to him.
Alien horror. Amazingly imaginative. The chase within a chase at the end was totally gripping, the tension so strong that I just had to put the book dAlien horror. Amazingly imaginative. The chase within a chase at the end was totally gripping, the tension so strong that I just had to put the book down occasionally to rest my nerves. The characters were engaging and skilfully differentiated. About a third of the way through, you think the book has to be almost over, then King brilliantly extends it. A giant of a writer!
You likely don't want to know, but I got a bad case of flatulence and constipation towards the end of reading this book - I was starting to think something alien had jumped off the page. LOL. If you've read the book you'll understand. If you haven't, here's a little teaser quoted from the book to get you started: 'Get away from me!' McCarthy screamed back in a thin, distracted voice. 'I have to shit, that's all, I HAVE TO SHIT! If I can shit I'll be all right!'...more
As a bestseller, the 1984 Corgi edition of this novel retailed at NZ$9.95. I found this gem in a second-hand book sale for NZ$3. It would have been woAs a bestseller, the 1984 Corgi edition of this novel retailed at NZ$9.95. I found this gem in a second-hand book sale for NZ$3. It would have been worth full price if it had been sold as a current bestseller. The copy I now hold belonged at some stage to one L. de Groot. It’s a book I’ll add to my hoard because even though I may never read it again, I treasure it. I read a few of Michener’s sagas many years ago and he is the master of blending fact and fiction in fascinating stories. In a miniscule way, by comparison, I’m providing a little snapshot of the history of NZ’s Campbell Island in my next novel “Island of Regrets”. That aside, I had to recommend “Poland” to readers, who have not yet discovered it, as a great read that will keep you enthralled from start to finish. With such a history, it is amazing that any Poles survived let alone, as the book blurb says, with an “unconquered heart”. The novel “reveals this spirit in all its drama and tragedy”. The novel is rightly described in the blurb as “spectacular” and few novels better justify that tag. In the first external examination I ever took as a young person I failed in the subject “history” but, after reading Michener, the essence of Poland’s history is imprinted in my brain. ...more
An oldie but a goldie. I got so addicted to the obtacles the heroines kept facing in this thriller that, by the end, I didn't want them to stop. NeverAn oldie but a goldie. I got so addicted to the obtacles the heroines kept facing in this thriller that, by the end, I didn't want them to stop. Never a dull moment after the heroines watch their husbands get murdered. Some clever, and sometimes ruthless, surprises along the way.
The male characters tended to be sterotypical but you expect an author to have greater insight into characters of the same gender. Conran delivered on the female side, and I got very attached to the five fictitious women she created.
Conran managed to build in one lesbian scene, no doubt for the pleasure of the voyeurs among her readers. I wouldn't have missed it if it hadn't been there.
Words from that scene,like the ones that follow, made me wonder just how less they applied to a heterosexual encounter: " Above all, because of each woman's [read: person's] intimate knowledge of the female [read: and male] anatomy, their unspoken feelings were gently recognised and shared..."
I'm sure there will be women who'll want to set me straight.
And, yes, it was the cover that caught my attention at a second-hand book sale. Conran handled the frequent female nudity in the book as simply a matter of fact, and did not over-play it....more
With no pre-knowledge I kind of felt this read like a sequel right from the start. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I'd read "Want to Play" firstWith no pre-knowledge I kind of felt this read like a sequel right from the start. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I'd read "Want to Play" first.
I assumed, sexist that I am, that P J Tracy was a man since Live Bait is a suspense/thriller but, when I finished reading, I found on the back cover a reference to "her second novel".
It has a slow build and past halfway before I really became intrigued.
A good conclusion, and unexpected last minute action.
I was keen to see Grace and Magozzi commit in the story but it wasn't to be. ...more
With a review of a 1999 copyrighted book I've obviously come across it in a second-hand shop. As a writer, I know this does the author out of a royaltWith a review of a 1999 copyrighted book I've obviously come across it in a second-hand shop. As a writer, I know this does the author out of a royalty (and regret that) but it's the best I can afford. And second-hand sales at least get an author additional readers. It's also a fact that I find myself more comfortable with traditional fiction writing from last century than some of its more modern forms.
One way to judge a book is by how well it measures up to its cover blurbs.
I agree with the "Guardian" reviewer that "Turow succeeds in bringing his characters to life and in exquisite and moving detail". They are a colourful lot, though I found the narrator, who appears occasionally in the first person, rather unnecessary to the story.
However, I would not have used the superlatives of other reviewers quoted on the back cover. I did not find it "spectacular" (though I appreciate the amount of effort the author put into research), nor all that much of "a humdinger of a plot", nor particularly "gripping".
For me, judged against other thrillers I've read, it was not a page-turner, so I read it doggedly in small doses. The very small font size of this edition also made it more difficult to read easily.
After trying Turow, I still prefer Grisham....more
I'll find it hard to forgive Blomkvist's treatment of Lisbeth at the end of the book. I was so ready for them to form a love relationship/happy endingI'll find it hard to forgive Blomkvist's treatment of Lisbeth at the end of the book. I was so ready for them to form a love relationship/happy ending. I guess it makes you want to read on to see if that happens later in the trilogy. I'm now glad I didn't see the movies.
The large number of Vangers became confusing.
Builds slowly at the start but not without interest. Some nice twists. Fascinating detective work. Smooth writing. I wonder how many stories he wrote before this one that never got published. So polished for a debut novel!
I'd recommend the book to anyone who likes thrillers/crime....more
More of a crime/suspense novel than a pure thriller. Chrichton continues to surprise with his versatility. So skillfully written in the first person tMore of a crime/suspense novel than a pure thriller. Chrichton continues to surprise with his versatility. So skillfully written in the first person that you hardly notice. The narrator (lead character)is a bit of a victim and his side-kicks are more interesting, I found. The deceased young woman is brought to life as a character and you always feel on the verge of sympathy for her. An intricate plot with some interesting forensics....more
I read a lot of thrillers and, in my experience, this one has considerable originality, most of all for its first-person narrative buItems from a Book
I read a lot of thrillers and, in my experience, this one has considerable originality, most of all for its first-person narrative built on the lead protagonist’s internal dialogue which fills most of the book.
Koontz has created an interesting, possibly unique, character in “Odd Thomas” with his paranormal faculties. The book hints at darker things being possible though my imagination could not fill the gaps.
This thriller also stood out for little sayings I thought were memorable. They were:
“The joys of life can be found anywhere. Far places only offer exotic ways to suffer.” I wonder how many travellers can relate to that? It’s always nice to return home, though sometimes to daydream about living elsewhere.
“...spent his life killing himself with food ... without the solace and refuge of food, he would have been dead long ago ... books and excess poundage are his insulation against pain”. It says a lot about how many of us use food as a harbour from the difficulties of life and become obese as a result. At least book-reading doesn’t add on any fat.
“threnody” – a new word to me, meaning a lamentation, especially of a person’s death.
“She says that what holds their marriage together is that she feels too damn sorry for him to ask for a divorce.” Rather clever and amusing, I thought, and a reminder that there are so many reasons why marriages last.
I also liked Koontz’s ideal of marriage, expressed by his character, “Odd Thomas”, as: “What really holds their marriage together are mutual respect of an awesome depth, a shared sense of humour, faith that they were brought together by a force greater than themselves, and a love so unwavering and pure that it is sacred.” I can’t help thinking that this so beautifully describes the marital holy grail that a couple should pursue. ...more