You all know I love French, so I won't bore you with more little love poems to this author, and keep this short and sweet.
Yes, it was typically wonderful in its in-depth character analysis, revealing the important aspects of the protagonist's personality and/or past at the most advantageous moments. However, I found it more procedural than her other ones, and consequently at least half the book is tied up in following police processes and rules, and that couldn't hold my attention. The basic mysteries - who is the actual killer? what the hell is with all the holes in the house? - kept me going forward to find out how French would tie them up.
As usual, she did not tie them up in a nice, neat bow, and the ending leaves you with the same feeling as the previous three - that sad sweet nostalgic feeling that our past is full of mistakes and that moving forward may be painful but there are good reasons to do so. ...more
I'm only on book 3 of the series, but this one had the strongest flavor to it. Initially, I thought maybe this one would behttp://tinyurl.com/om954a7
I'm only on book 3 of the series, but this one had the strongest flavor to it. Initially, I thought maybe this one would be more "standardized". In the sense of it being more like a regular murder mystery. A gritty setting and a time-honored plot device and a fun dialect. But wait! There's more!
This book is all about love. Now, you could say it's all about family. And sure, I would get that. But what she does so well is thematic descriptions. She describes first love in a way that makes you want to back pedal 30 years and live it all over again for reals. And of course, because there's a murder involved, it's heartbreaking at the same time as it's beautiful.
Fortunately, I had read some reviews in advance of reading this book so I knew it was going to leave a huge hole in my heart if I didn't take care. So, take care! Harden your heart a tiny bit so you can read this one without dissolving onto the floor.
Since I'm now walking around saying "Jaysus, Mary and Joseph, I'm after buying that at the shops" (oh, the Brits and their mangled English), I think I should stop with the series for a bit, and give myself a breather. It's only going to break my heart more if I fly through all these and there's nothing left to read for a whole year... ...more
I have to give French her utterly ludicrous core concept: two people who are almost exact doppelgängers, not related. Yea, phttp://tinyurl.com/q3x4sxk
I have to give French her utterly ludicrous core concept: two people who are almost exact doppelgängers, not related. Yea, pull my other leg. And, I couldn't care less in the end. It did bother me in the beginning, and made me worry that the sophomore effort was not going to live up to the freshman effort (and what an effort that was). There is nothing to fear here.
Once again, she pulls all your emotions out of your stomach, tosses them around like soccer balls for 500 pages, and then lets them fly away like little birdies on the last page That's how spent you feel when you're done. I don't really know how she does her magic - action that flows from page to page and from one plot device to the next, seamlessly. And especially at the end, never telling you the whole story so that you absolutely must read between the lines, and absolutely must remember plot devices from 200 pages back. When you "get it", you literally gasp. That is stellar writing.
And there's more. In between all the plot devices are little descriptive passages that take your breath away. In this book, descriptions of tiny country lanes in the dark, of long and sweet hot summer afternoons, of the kind of house that isn't lived in anymore and can only be seen in a museum setting. I'm convinced she's had some experience writing poetry (and I'd like to read some of it).
After reading two of her books, I think it's safe to say that I'm considering her the best mystery series writer I've ever read. Yup....more
I actually think there's very little to say about this book, because its impact is rather obvious.
This book was dense. It was also super-important for a large variety of reasons. I knew a ton about peer review and how scientists work going in, and I did NOT know this story. This story is about how a small group of scientists obfuscated the truth about environmental problems ranging from acid rain to global warming, and they did this in a way (through the media and otherwise) that caused the public to doubt the already-proven science. It is incredibly well researched and straightforwardly written, so although it may not be easily digestible, it is eminently readable.
Over 40% of the US population still believes global warming is a hoax. I urge you all to read this book so you can know for yourself why that is utterly ridiculous and be able to inform others who may have questions or concerns. ...more
This book deserves pretty much every kudo it's received (including winning the Pulitzer). Sweeping, detailed, horrifying, myhttp://tinyurl.com/grn5dc3
This book deserves pretty much every kudo it's received (including winning the Pulitzer). Sweeping, detailed, horrifying, mystical, intimate. It's incredible what Doerr's done here.
I'll admit right off the bat that Werner's story was not as captivating to me as Marie-Laure's. I'm sorry, Werner, but it's difficult to compete with a blind girl who's lost so much, living in such pitiful circumstances. Of course, there's no way Doerr could have written the book without opposing nationalities as main characters. He has to tell two sides or he loses credulity, a compelling narrative, and the ability to spin that aforementioned mystical tale.
I'll also admit that it's surprising to still be reading WWII stories and to be reading good ones at that. Yes, of course, one of the most astonishing tragedies of the world will always be re-told and attempted to be re-told with a different light cast upon it (be it fiction, non-fiction, sculpture, poetry, painting, narrative film, documentary, etc., etc.). But at least in film, it seems rare to see something truly original and moving. Visually, we recognize the impact of the setting, but we are often inured to its meaning in that format.
This tale transcends that with a thoughtful structure (both in terms of brevity of chapters and chronological juxtaposition of major parts), a fascinating rumination on the nature of connections (be they radio waves or more nebulous and fragile interactions among people), a way of pinpointing the horror of the war without dwelling on it (the most horrific for me was meeting the elderly Jewess in the elevator), and the general sensitivity to every character he creates (even Volkheimer). This is pretty much a must-read....more
I can really see why folks are in a snit about this book. She's playing both ends against the middle and folks are missing thttp://tinyurl.com/htbujq9
I can really see why folks are in a snit about this book. She's playing both ends against the middle and folks are missing the main point of the novel.
Firstly, she starts with the age-old trope of killing Hitler before he gets a chance to begin the Holocaust. I'm giving nothing away, it happens within 5 pages. That's a dangerous place to begin. Secondly, she's playing on the time-worn subject of the Buddhist "bardo" state aka purgatory aka reincarnation (not all the same things, really). I'll certainly admit to being distressed after the first lengthy loop in time - wait, all of that is now going to be rewritten? For reals?
She seems to be working these both into her novel to make it seem that it's about these two things - and it's these that readers are likely irritated by. But the book really isn't about those, per se. It's about her life as an Englishwoman, someone who clearly loves her country, trying to understand what it was like to live through the days before, during and after WWII. Cases in point - when she describes what she loves about the English countryside, or what London is now missing because of the bombings, or the unenviable task of picking up the pieces after a particularly bad air raid. She also does a commendable job recounting what was to be loved about Germany before the war, as well as the abject misery of its citizenry during the war.
In the end, it moves very quickly for a 500+ page novel that keeps repeating itself, and it's engaging in its description of England and Germany in the 30s and 40s. Reason enough to read?...more
Oof. It's like Raymond Carver has come back and is slightly less grumpy, a little more hip, and a teeny weeny bit less deprehttp://tinyurl.com/nbdr4vk
Oof. It's like Raymond Carver has come back and is slightly less grumpy, a little more hip, and a teeny weeny bit less depressing.
That's a positive review, really it is! Because I love Raymond Carver - in all his spooky, crazy, true, oh-so-real attitude towards life. Saunders writes similarly, focusing on people who are down on their luck, but his focus seems to explain and clarify rather than obscure. That may seem strange to folks who have read Saunders' work before. What I mean is that each intriguing story has a purpose that we understand immediately and have a vague idea of where it is heading. It is not heading there! (In most cases.) But the situation is immediately understandable, and therefore our ride along its path engages us rather than furrows our brows.
Also, he comes up with the worst game-show idea ever. Yes, that is also a positive review....more
Part of me worries that the Printz Award only nominates edgy young adult fiction, and perhaps bypasses novels that are worthhttp://tinyurl.com/qacyes3
Part of me worries that the Printz Award only nominates edgy young adult fiction, and perhaps bypasses novels that are worthy but are a bit more mainstream. Then again, I don't know what I'm talking about because I don't read enough young adult fiction.
You'll see what I mean right off the bat - completely disillusioned, and obviously heartbroken, young woman trying to make it through high school. Peers, first loves, schoolwork, big social issues, it's all addressed. It seems important to the author to make sure she's smart and "does what's right" for the most part, or else we would not sympathize with her or her situation. Or understand that the moral of the story is that you shoudl be smart and do what's right. I often find YA to be like this - a leetle bit too obvious. But I am not the audience for it, and that's important for me to keep in mind.
There's no question that you do understand her plight, because those adults reading it were all kids, and we remember all kinds of heartbreak (perhaps not quite this dire). In my case, I really understood her plight because he makes her a pizza driver, and I was a pizza driver in my 20s. Everything you're reading about that? Completely spot on. ...more
This might be the most complex piece of writing I've read. And not just for its florid writing.
On the surface, a social commentary about the mores and dictates of late 19th century New York, it felt like much more than that to me. It's not as if any of the crazy shenanigans surrounding society - and by society, I mean any kind in any place - have disappeared. There are still rules, although they may have become more relaxed. There is still old money and new money and how people are treated if you come from one versus the other. And there are still problems in marrying or courting above or below your station - again, no matter where you come from.
The novel tends to age well, since it tells the story of society in general, not just that of New York in its time. It's as if nothing has changed, and our culture is not more enlightened 100 years further on. For instance, never does Mr. Rosedale appear that his manner and forbearing are not associated with the fact that he is a Jew. For all Wharton's obvious liberal attitudes, she was not able to bridge that cultural divide. Upbringing? Lack of education? We struggle with those to this day.
Far more interesting, though, is Lily herself. You want to whomp Lily over the head, bringing her to some reasonable sense of where her life is going because she cannot be reconciled with her own desires. She wants to be morally upright, but she also abhors anything not beautiful and expensive. That conflict makes it impossible for her to choose the right path, time and again. I understand how that could work in her head, but the ending makes you truly wonder if anyone would choose this path, lacking any foresight about where it can end. That makes her a true innocent, more than anything else, and I think it's likely that Wharton could never have told this moral tale without an innocent at the center....more
It's not so much the telling of this tale that made it a worthwhile read for me. It is, as it likely is for most readers, thhttp://tinyurl.com/qaycyuy
It's not so much the telling of this tale that made it a worthwhile read for me. It is, as it likely is for most readers, the tale itself that is worthy of the read.
If I were to pinpoint the one thing about this book that struck me as ridiculous - and saints preserve us, there are so many ridiculous things about this case and these trials - it's the KKK in 1951 getting themselves together and drafting a resolution stating that they were opposed to the NAACP and the ADL because they were "hate groups." Flabbergasted is the only word that mirrors my reading of that particular paragraph.
I will say that I was not hugely enamored of the writing itself. Yes, it more than gets the job done in telling the tale of Marshall and his legal posse fighting and re-fighting these deplorable Southern cases, long before Marshall was appointed to even the District Courts. It is relentless in its description of the problems that faced both the black lawyers and the black workers in Florida in those times. In fact, what it does is repeat itself a bit more than necessary. (Yes, I remember that Marshall traveled extensively. Yes, I think I've had a decent description of McCall's clothing enough times now, thank you.) But by doing this King makes it far less likely that you will forget what he's writing about, so in that respect, it's worth repetition.
And, I have to give credence to the ending, because King pulls back in a number of loose threads that you may (or may not) have forgotten about, creating a strong, emotionally resonant final chapter to the entire story. It's worth reading just for that - but actually, everyone should be more familiar with what transpired in the 50s in the South. I'd call it required reading....more
At first, I was irritated by this book. I enjoyed the movie, like most people, but in the book you see way, way more of thehttp://tinyurl.com/o4gsubx
At first, I was irritated by this book. I enjoyed the movie, like most people, but in the book you see way, way more of the protagonist's noodling and over-thinking and pointless ruminations and it just gets so tiresome. Especially if you're a woman reading this. And a woman way too late in her game to care about these kinds of ruminations. You can't help shouting at the page: get over yourself and bite the bullet, dude!
However, the novel redeemed itself in two ways:
- It's funny as all get out. It's unfortunate that I can see Jack Black in my mind every time they riff on a top-5 list in the store. I'd like to know if those scenes would "play" as well in my mind without the movie version there in advance. Regardless, and obviously, the discussions of music are integral for both the main character's growth and to provide a lot more than a thought-provoking essay on the state of being a man in the modern era.
- The girlfriend is really well written. She's a mess, but she's a thoughtful, brave, heartfelt mess. You can see why he likes her and you can see why he should be with her. She may teeter a bit on the "fantasy-woman" edge because no one is quite that put together, but this kind of woman is believable.
I doubt I'll be reading his other books. In the end, they're too "male" and I just find that boring. ...more
First, kudos to Grafton for not making this an "is for" title. I'm sure it gave her publisher heart palpitations, but it ishttp://tinyurl.com/qegdsg8
First, kudos to Grafton for not making this an "is for" title. I'm sure it gave her publisher heart palpitations, but it is a perfect title. It might have little to do with the plot, but it's still perfect.
As usual, I found the novel meandering, but not haphazard. Grafton often has separate plotlines going, and she often pulls from other books to keep them spinning throughout her universe. What I ended up wondering is if this villain will be Kinsey's best, greatest solve, which is why Grafton is letting it roll out over several books. I don't agree that this is the darkest of Grafton's series - I can think of several others that have just as chilling or creepier endings. It's certainly true that this is the most ambivalent ending of them all.
Also, I have to wonder if Grafton is making some allusion to the usefulness of the Internet (which doesn't exist yet in the alphabet series) in how Milhone eventually learns crucial background about the villain. Or perhaps not. Perhaps she's simply touting the "old-boy" network. ...more
I grew to like this book more as I went along. In the beginning, I wanted to smack our heroine a lot, but by the end, I undehttp://tinyurl.com/hr2xfhn
I grew to like this book more as I went along. In the beginning, I wanted to smack our heroine a lot, but by the end, I understood more of the point of the novel.
This young girl moves from strange circumstance to stranger circumstance after a number of tragic events. By the time she gets to the state park and "The Indian" I was getting pretty darn tired of the author placing her in a particular situation just to bring the story to closure. The plot devices were just not subtle enough for my taste, and it wasn't like I couldn't see where we were going to end up.
But I did appreciate the tone of Campbell's storytelling. Her writing is particularly good at giving you a visceral understanding of the river environment and the people who feel innately wedded to the river and its life, and who couldn't live apart from it. This is a world I know nothing about, and she made it completely real to me.
I have a feeling that this tale might be best read by someone younger than me who has a hankering to live off-grid. In some ways, it provides a roadmap for those folks, and I can imagine it'd be darn lonely to feel so very different from everyone else. It also might offer some consolation, especially to girls, for having confusing teenager-y feelings and not knowing the right way to turn or the right person to rely on. I wouldn't call this a young-adult novel, but it's likely best read by those in that age group....more
Any book that keeps me up past my bedtime is worth more than its weight in salt. (Gold, salt, you choose.) Way past my bedtihttp://tinyurl.com/phlp3w6
Any book that keeps me up past my bedtime is worth more than its weight in salt. (Gold, salt, you choose.) Way past my bedtime. I couldn't stop reading, as the twists and turns kept coming, and I kept wondering what would happen next.
It wasn't perfect: I think French telegraphs her main "bad guy" pretty strongly. I believe that if you're a woman reading this book, that may be more obvious than if you're a guy, but that's simply a guess based on my strong reaction to the character. I also had a strong dislike to our main protagonist, again maybe because I'm a woman reading this book. At the same time, I found it astonishing that French could inhabit and personalize the experience of the main detective, who is a man, in a genuine and revealing manner. I may not have enjoyed his idiocies (and his constant need to explain how idiotic he was a certain junctures), but he felt like a real person, and that's not easy to achieve.
Mostly, though, I was truly heartbroken at the end. Because, surprisingly, the book isn't about archaeological digs and the reasons to keep them pristine, or the beauty and mystery of woods that we should protect and save for future generations, or politics just sucks all around, no? It's about our main characters, as it should be. And I will certainly be getting the next one of the series out of the library, but will hearing it in Cassie's voice break my heart even further?...more
I truly loved Hartman's first book. I'll admit to being surprised because I knew her first as a comic book creator, so seeinhttp://tinyurl.com/ofxbwpj
I truly loved Hartman's first book. I'll admit to being surprised because I knew her first as a comic book creator, so seeing her talent at writing fantasy fiction sorta shocked me. Silly me, I really should have known better (especially since her comic talent lay in perfectly realized faux-medieval tales).
She finishes off her story about Seraphina in this book. I won't say I was sorry to see her go, because I did love this world of real-as-can-be dragons, the humans who fear, care for, or despise them, and those who live in-between them. I won't redefine that in-between for the sake of those who haven't read the first book yet, although it's not much of a spoiler.
The reason I didn't love this volume as much as the other is because this one... well, it takes too long. She has a complex story, and I appreciate that she wrote it as briskly as possible while still taking time to develop her characters and lay the plot accordingly. But around 2/3 of the way in, Seraphina's journey feels like it's more than a fool's errand, it feels like it was never necessary in the first place. That's a real letdown when it comes to the impact on the story of your main character.
But, goodness, that's not going to prevent me from reading more books of hers. Her voice is fresh and invigorating, so bring them on, please....more
You can know your science and still produce a book that doesn't have anything to do with it. This is one example.
Ozeki did do her homework. If you want to know how tidal effects work, or what Japanese pop culture is like, or later on in the book, what quantum mechanics are all about, she gives you all that. Almost exactly as if she did do her homework. It's that dull and pedantic.
Her being pedantic is not my sole criticism. My bigger criticism is that the book takes a turn about 3/4 of the way through that came smack out of left field. It felt not at all in the same vein as the rest of the book - instead designed only to shock and startle you. Actually, there were two left field turns - one that startles, and the other that bewilders. (For those who've read the book, the bewildering one is more closely related to metaphysics.) Having one come right after the other threw me for a loop. If I hadn't thought she had no business writing a novel about what she was writing about before, that did the job for me.
I know that she at least has experience regarding Buddhist nuns, being one herself. The writing related to that subject seemed forced. Imagine how the rest of it seemed....more
I'm pretty sure you can't read a Didion book and not recognize the power of her writing style. Unfortunately, I feel like Ihttp://tinyurl.com/pqaumq3
I'm pretty sure you can't read a Didion book and not recognize the power of her writing style. Unfortunately, I feel like I need to be an anthropologist, or perhaps a psychotherapist, to parse and value what she's saying.
I liked a couple of these essays a great deal, i.e., "On Keeping a Notebook" and "John Wayne: A Love Song", because they were simple but resonated with what I know or have experienced in life. Most of the rest were banal, such as "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" or "Goodbye to All That", which I chalk up to it being 50 years after the fact and everything about these places/venues/people has been done or said before. Or the essays were impenetrable, such as "Notes from a Native Daughter" or "On Morality", which just made me feel utterly dumb. Or they were of the - well, I have to write something or they won't pay me - ilk, such as "Where the Kissing Never Stops" or "Rock of Ages".
I'm not interested in needing a masters degree in literature (or anthropology or psychotherapy) to get something out of an essay. But I still think her writing has a depth and strength to it that makes me want to read something more penetrable by her. Perhaps her post-1960s work is more accessible?...more
And, of course, I was going to finish the trilogy. This is the best mystery series I've read in a long while. Even if the sehttp://tinyurl.com/puqwud2
And, of course, I was going to finish the trilogy. This is the best mystery series I've read in a long while. Even if the second book didn't fulfill my expectations, I had every reason to believe the third would. (See every diatribe written about second book problems.)
And he pulls out all the stops. Each and every situation in this volume made sense. The people you meet and the events that occur are complete tragedies in and of themselves. In one sense, it's like reading a series of short stories created into a novel - and only the best can do this well (see Olive Kitteredge). He extends the mysteries from the previous two novels into this one, and he makes sure you are allowed to feel for each character in the mysteries, even as you retain the sense of the doomed world and the oddity of caring about doomed people.
I did see the solution to the ultimate mystery coming (and by ultimate, I don't mean that asteroid), and I feel that he didn't obscure it as well as he needed to. It's obvious from the moment you meet the first character in that scenario, if you wonder about the potential for the scenario as much as I did.
Enough obfuscation, since writing anything revealing defeats the purpose of the review! Enjoy this trilogy and hope that he writes more like them....more
I was tempted to write the review of the second and third books together, seeing as I gobbled them up in one go while on vachttp://tinyurl.com/o8qp4bs
I was tempted to write the review of the second and third books together, seeing as I gobbled them up in one go while on vacation. But, they are different in their approaches, and so I'll write a short one for each.
The second book, as with most second books, was not as satisfying as the first. It's not new, you understand the world the author has built, and you expect something to be, frankly, completely different. I don't care if you intellectually understand that this is not possible - it's simply in our nature to want more and different things each time we pick up a book.
So, obviously, this was a continuation of the same trudge towards extinction, however, this time with the addition of situations that beggared belief. It's tough not to give anything away, but there is a large machine that boggles the mind, and there is a significant injury incurred by our tragic hero that is really, truly unbelievable.
Yes, of course, there is more excellent prose about Henry's need to "do the right thing" and that lesson is why these books are so good. Would you be like Henry if push came to shove? Maybe you and I both should be....more
I am probably not quite smart enough to review this book, but I'll give it my best shot.
Clearly, it is a book about perceiving and perceptions of beauty, whether that's body shape, rendered in art, elderly vs. youth, or the natural world (not much of that). But there's so much else in here that I can't fit into that theme. Sure, a book doesn't (and probably shouldn't) have only one theme, but there's a whole separate set of treatises on the role of academia, all kinds of politics, and, of course, race and ethnicity. It's a long book, and it can basically hold all of this, but it means I got lost in the comings and goings of the characters.
So, I read the book and was intrigued by the multiple lives and their method of conversing and communicating with others, but in essence it felt like a set of short stories strung together with a common thread among them. I kept being thrown off the scent into the next story, trying to figure out how it hung with the rest.
Also, most of this felt like an apology. Oh, Levi is acting this way for this reason. And Carl has a different reason for acting as he does. And Kiki. And ridiculous, dumb-ass Howard. Why apologize for how different people think and react? You're telling, not showing, then. Isn't that a cardinal sin of writing?...more
I suppose this book could have been more vague. What I mean by that is that it could have provided zero hints about where thhttp://tinyurl.com/gtm9gwb
I suppose this book could have been more vague. What I mean by that is that it could have provided zero hints about where the story was headed, instead of only the most indirect of hints.
I do love Kazuo Ishiguro's writing, and it's been such a long time since I read a book by him. It may be unfortunate that I chose to listen to the audio version of this book instead of reading the digital bits because I was not as enamored by it as I may have been if I had been able to take my time over the phrasings and how the sections fit together. It's also true that the narrator of the audio version was, as does befit the novel, a very slow speaker. But, that meant that in order to listen to the whole thing in a drive to and from Chicago I needed to bump it up to 1.25x speed (sorry, Mr. Ishiguro and Mr. Horovitch).
The content itself captured my imagination. As usual, Ishiguro has added fantastical elements, and in the case of this novel he makes you wonder how many of those are true to his worldbuilding (i.e., real to this story). It's certainly likely that none of what you are reading is true! Other than the fact that there is a journey, and it's likely one with a tragic ending. I wonder if he wrote it upon the death of a loved one (or the dying of a loved one) because it has all the flavors of that kind of a tale (and I did go hear him speak about this book, but it's been a very long while since that evening).
I place the book at almost the same level as Neil Gaiman's gorgeously realized "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" (I loved Gaiman's more), meaning there's a great deal of power here, if you can tap into it. It just takes a little more work that it might for other novels....more
I love post-apocalyptic genre fiction (both written and visual). I especially love it when it's thoughtful and persuasive.
As usual, I'm sure this novel is deeper than I give it credit for. I'm sure the author has many themes and flourishes I am not cognizant of. However, it's clear that the book takes the post-apocalyptic genre and adds at least one layer to it - what will we miss from days gone by? why will we miss it? who in particular will miss it? should we miss it?
I found myself really struck by this. Besides everything else going on in the book - other layers of multiple mysteries and woven lives - I was alternately surprised and, frankly, annoyed by the ongoing comparison of young people (don't miss anything, of course) with old people (deeply missing various things). I simply hadn't thought about how different these sets of folks might be. Usually post-apocalyptic fiction details all the ways people can destroy each other when left to their human nature. This book is somewhat gentler in this regard, but it made me realize that a cultural schism in terms of young and old could be quite devastating.
There's a book club discussion area at the end of my copy of the book. I usually skip these, but the final question caught me since I'd already been ruminating on it. What would I miss? Electricity, hands down. Without it, no internet, no air conditioning, no cars, no airplanes, no anything vital. What would you miss?...more
A review of this feels unnecessary. It's known as one of Christie's classic tales. And it's the one with the unexpected twishttp://tinyurl.com/njm6l3j
A review of this feels unnecessary. It's known as one of Christie's classic tales. And it's the one with the unexpected twist. I feel that I had heard of the ending of this novel before I started it, and when I was halfway through I realized that the person I was pinning it on was the most surprising character of them all and that perhaps this was the book with that wacky ending. Yup, it is. You'll likely figure out there is only one kind of ending, and you'll raise your eyebrows and you'll say "well, huh" and then you'll want to finish because you wonder in what manner Christie will end this book. To say more is to give everything away, sorry!...more
Perhaps no surprise but this book did nada for me.
I am not sentimental. Sure, I can tear up for personal emotionally-heavy moments, but in general I'm not the kind of person who appreciates display of emotion in most venues (I kinda just want the people or the book or the film to rein it in). I guess that makes me hard-hearted, but that's just who I am.
Consequently, having to read about someone's life journey to find personal treasure, which is thwarted at every opportunity, who keeps having to listen to his heart and the wind and the sun and heaven-knows-what tell it what to do or else he's not living correctly as a person made me want to throw the book across the room. It was just such horsepucky. So, if I'm not sentimental enough to listen to my heart, I'm a horrible person who can never feel the Soul of the World (ptooey) and reach my personal treasure? Which, I'm going to ruin it for you, really is actual treasure, ie, money. Yup, that's what matters in life.
It sure has been a long time since I read a mystery novel I enjoyed this much. And one I finished in little more than 12 houhttp://tinyurl.com/ox7fxlj
It sure has been a long time since I read a mystery novel I enjoyed this much. And one I finished in little more than 12 hours, too!
It's not just the premise - that an asteroid will destroy the earth in 6 months' time - it's the stellar plotting and writing. I mean, murder mysteries are all of a kind. You have to have some action, and between that action you need to have interviews. Lots of interviews, with lots of characters, hopefully designed to advance that aforementioned action and hopefully also obscure who the killer is so the reader finishes the dang book.
Therefore, the utter absurdity of someone pursuing a murder case when the Earth will be destroyed real soon now is the first unique card played by the author. The second card is absolutely believable characters. Not just our hero but every single person placed in his path - witnesses to fellow detectives to the old lady at the phone booth - I really do mean every person is realized and feels completely real.
The third and final card is interviews that are not boring. Please, those of you who write mysteries, read this one, if only as an exercise. Notice how he does not follow tried and trite methods of questioning that include "where were you at 10pm last night?" with each and every bloody person. Notice how he gives the detective a few charming tics in those interviews, which will be darned important later on.
There's really a fourth card - the author has thought about he would feel if the world is ending, and he's thought about how others will feel. How society will act. What will be repugnant and what will be understandable. If you don't like mysteries, you could read it for this reason and get plenty out of it....more