I wish I could give 3.5 stars on this thing. I suppose it's closer to 4 than 3, but I'd like the option. Honestly, I don't think I could tell you whatI wish I could give 3.5 stars on this thing. I suppose it's closer to 4 than 3, but I'd like the option. Honestly, I don't think I could tell you what this book was about. It certainly has a plot, but much of the time I wasn't sure exactly where I was chronologically, geographically, or truth-versus-lie-ally.
I kind of feel like it's not the plot you're supposed to be into here. What I loved were the chuckle out-loud one liners and the loveable characters. I enjoyed Adrian's waffling between truth and lies. And I know from the reviews that some people found it frustrating that every time you finally think you have a grip on what's going on, you find out the last x-number of pages you've read have been complete and utter BS. But that's what made me smile much of the time.
Not knowing the first thing about cricket impeded me a little, but luckily wound up being a minor point, and didn't ruin the book in the slightest.
I love Stephen Fry endlessly. If I ever meet him, I will demand a hug. Demand, I say....more
OK, I probably should give this five stars, because I really liked it. A lot. It was weird, sad, and hilarious, and weird all over again.
My main issueOK, I probably should give this five stars, because I really liked it. A lot. It was weird, sad, and hilarious, and weird all over again.
My main issue with this book is how freaking long it is. There are so many chapters that could be so much shorter. And I don't mind a few footnotes, but there were 838 of them. This is a novel, DFW, not a text. And some of the footnotes are 20 pages long, and have their own toe-notes (as I will call them). The constant flipping back and forth was a little much for me.
I have to be honest, it took me over a year to read this book. I read Atlas Shrugged and Gone With the Wind in about a week or two (each), so it's not the length that did it. I had to take a few hiatuses on this one because it was just too dense and heavy, and I needed a Harry Potter interlude, and a Hugh Laurie interlude, and yes, maybe a quick foray into the world of David Sedaris, just to lighten the mood.
I know this review doesn't sound like I liked this book much. I find it hard to describe the myriad plots, so I can't really delve into that. But really, it's a great book, and I recommend it for anyone with the stamina and intestinal fortitude to read it (it doesn't quite get to an American Psycho level of grossness, but I definitely said "Oh dear LORD, that's disgusting" out loud a few times). In fact, in the end, I liked it so much that I'm adding it to my "Favorites" shelf. So basically, the moral is that you should probably disregard most of this review....more
Yes, I know it's lame to read the book at the same time that the movie is out, but I didn't want to see the movie before reading the book, so I read iYes, I know it's lame to read the book at the same time that the movie is out, but I didn't want to see the movie before reading the book, so I read it.
That said, I liked the book a lot. The artwork was great and the characters were fairly cool...but I was somewhat disappointed by the ending. I felt like it was lame, perhaps a bit cop-out-ish. That would be my reason for denying it the fifth star. I did like how bleak and depressing the whole thing was; that's my favorite genre: bleak and depressing. But again, the end, while still bleak, left something to be desired plot-wise.
I'm being pretty generous with a three-star rating here. Having read Pillars of the Earth and loved it, I was skeptical in starting thiSPOILERS AHEAD:
I'm being pretty generous with a three-star rating here. Having read Pillars of the Earth and loved it, I was skeptical in starting this one, because I was nervous that I would be disappointed. And how.
This is essentially the same book as POTE but more contrived and with less likable characters. The only one who is completely different is Prior Phillip, who is replaced by [one of] the villain[s], Godwyn. We have the evil, villainous jerk-boy who grows up to be an earl who rapes and kills without thinking twice. We have a pilgrimage across Europe, albeit with different motives. We have the plight of the financially screwed wool merchants whose daughter saves the day.
And, of course, there is the plague, which conveniently wipes out all the people you think can help, and then conveniently wipes out all opposition to the main characters. With 150 pages left for new problems!
Oh, and how can I forget the lesbian nuns? Yes, this seems to be an outlet for some of Follett's secret fantasies.
I found myself saying "really?" too many times while reading this book. Seriously, my hatred of the antagonists built up until I was contemplating throwing this GIGANTIC and HEAVY book at my wall. It was just too much.
OK. So why even give it three stars? All that said, it was a fairly enjoyable read; I did get moderately attached to the main characters (who, unlike in POTE, don't all die horrible deaths, thus making you wonder if you can even handle the rest of the book), and, as someone who generally doesn't read romance novels, this was the closest I was bound to get. I'm not SORRY I read it, I just kind of want a few of those hours of my life back....more
This is satire. It's not supposed to be pretty. It's supposed to be really freaking ugly. This isn't Ellis's vision on what life is or should be, it'sThis is satire. It's not supposed to be pretty. It's supposed to be really freaking ugly. This isn't Ellis's vision on what life is or should be, it's a caricature.
That said, it's by far the most disgusting thing I've ever read. It was like a train wreck. I always seemed to be moments away from throwing up but I couldn't put the book down.
I love the corporate-America scenes, and the obsession with what people are wearing, the ridiculous "gourmet" meals, how much everything costs. I love the 80s music review scenes. Yes, I even love the misogynistic rape and torture scenes (which, if you look at the other books I've read and loved, tells you that I damn well believed this was satire, written this way to make a point).
I think my favorite aspect of it was how the insanity is introduced very gradually. Subtle at first, and then it just flies off into utter, unbelievable hyperbole.