As a mystery, this was fairly thin. I was able to figure out the whodunnit very early on, though not necessarily the howdunnit! But it's a fast, fun rAs a mystery, this was fairly thin. I was able to figure out the whodunnit very early on, though not necessarily the howdunnit! But it's a fast, fun read and a master class in unreliable narrating. I love an unreliable narrator, and when even the narrator knows she is unreliable, it's both frustrating and interesting....more
I wanted to like this book more than I did. I found it oddly unsatisfying, both as a drama and as a character study. (For the record, nothing in it stI wanted to like this book more than I did. I found it oddly unsatisfying, both as a drama and as a character study. (For the record, nothing in it struck me as funny even though it's supposed to be a "tragicomic.") Neither Alison nor her father seemed to have much depth, and therefore their relationship was more a series of events than a deeply moving story of character growth and familial connection. Perhaps because the LGBTQ movement has come so far, the tale of a closeted gay man in the mid-century and his out lesbian daughter in the 70s actually seemed a bit tame, and some of their characteristics a bit cliche. Which is a good thing--it means society has moved past being shocked by issues of sexual identity. But it's not such a great thing for this book, because a lot of the issues felt a bit been-there-done-that in terms of story.
One caveat on this review, though: I believe a lot of my problems stem from a basic dislike of the graphic novel format. I've never understood graphic novels (or comics, or manga) as a format. I find it annoying to have to switch back and forth between reading and looking. I don't think a comic frame can lend any depth to a situation, not as much as a well-written paragraph can. This is the first graphic novel I've read in years, and I thought perhaps my opinion of the format had changed. It hasn't. So I attribute much of my distaste for this book to the format itself. If you love graphic novels, you may love this book!...more
I like mysteries. I REALLY like detectives! So, you know, I liked this book. Cormoran Strike is a well-drawn character and his personal life interesteI like mysteries. I REALLY like detectives! So, you know, I liked this book. Cormoran Strike is a well-drawn character and his personal life interested me. His relationship with his new assistant interested me. His involvement in the world of tabloid fame and infamy interested me. He's a fun detective character.
BUT. The mystery itself is very unsatisfying. There are several different threads that all play a role in the final reveal, and very few of them make real sense. Cormoran's method of working is detail-oriented and fun to read about, but then the conclusions he draws at the end are based on little or no evidence and require him to make mental leaps that I wasn't convinced to make with him. It felt as if plot threads which should've been simple red herrings were brought in to play a part in the crime itself, and a lot of them were sort of nonsensical in that context.
I liked the characters and the plot enough that I was really looking forward to a big, satisfying revelation at the end. Unfortunately, it was a letdown. That said, I'd probably read another one just to see Cormoran and find out how his personal life turns out!...more
I'd actually give it three and a half stars. I thought it was interesting to have such a lighthearted book deal with such a heavy subject (domestic viI'd actually give it three and a half stars. I thought it was interesting to have such a lighthearted book deal with such a heavy subject (domestic violence). But oddly, this is also what keeps me from rating it higher--it was a fun read, but just felt like a very slight book, not much to it. Still, the descriptions of suburban motherhood were spot on and the characterization was great. ...more
I wanted to read this one before I saw the movie. I have a hard time believing that any film can do it justice, though it wasn't quite the brilliant eI wanted to read this one before I saw the movie. I have a hard time believing that any film can do it justice, though it wasn't quite the brilliant epic I've heard it described as. Perhaps I knew too much about it going in? The gimmick of the nested stories seemed a little trite to me (though the fact that Mitchell called himself out on that in the middle of the book, by having Frobisher refer to his Cloud Atlas sextet structure as possible schmaltzy, made me laugh).
That said, I can't stop thinking about it even though I finished it weeks ago. The idea of reaching such a level of technological brilliance in the future only to end up just as primitive afterwards is, while not new, compelling when you see it narrated on a personal level....more