I was gripped from the first page. This was different, compelling and heartbreaking. It was just a real tragedy that after the first two chapters thatI was gripped from the first page. This was different, compelling and heartbreaking. It was just a real tragedy that after the first two chapters that this story turned into a disjointed mess. I'm not exactly sure what went wrong but it seemed to lose all direction and cohesion after this point.
I was thinking we would see Susie working through the aftermath as she observes all those she left behind. Her parents and sister are at least real in their reactions. Some shut down, some look for answers and some almost trip off the crazy scale. Instead we get an almost monotone monologue from Susie that only becomes more emotional near the end. Then we have a possession scene gone bad. I won't bother describing it for two reasons. One is that it's pathetic and two is that it would be a spoiler.
There was so much potential in Sebold's writing at the start that I literally felt cheated by the rest of the book. The only saving grace being a Father that was written so well and so heartrendingly that it made finishing the book a little more satisfying. Let's not forget the Mother. A lot may not have liked her reaction but it was a true one. The father and the first chapter are the only reasons this is not a two star review.
It just seems that Sebold had trouble trying to write from a child's perspective and instead threw in a lot of omniscience and gimmickry.
This is a horror story of a different kind having it's roots based in real life events. A story I knew nothing about until it was briefly mentioned inThis is a horror story of a different kind having it's roots based in real life events. A story I knew nothing about until it was briefly mentioned in The Tropic of Cancer and I read this book. The French's gathering and deportation of the Jews in France known as Vel' d'Hiv round up. Most people seem to be familiar with the German and Polish ones but this one managed to remain under the radar until recently.
Using alternating chapters of their stories helped with building an eventual congruence between the two main characters. I really would have preferred more of Sarah and less of Julia but that may have lessened the impact of how their lives intersected. I found I just couldn't get as emotionally involved with Julia's family drama as I could with Sarah's but she was needed to bring Sarah's tale to a conclusion.
How terrifying the Holocaust was but hearing it from a child's perspective just drives that home so much more. Not to mention a side tragedy which is actually the center of Sarah's story and perhaps her life changing moment and not the round up itself.
This is well worth reading for the history despite the predictable ending and somewhat lacking prose. Ms de Rosnay has some talent but needs to give her characters and stories a bit more depth....more
A lot of the events in this book are very unsettling to most of us. It's very hard to see such raw racism and not come out unchanged. That's what madeA lot of the events in this book are very unsettling to most of us. It's very hard to see such raw racism and not come out unchanged. That's what made this book both a difficult and an easy read at the same time. The words and story flow making us eager to turn the pages but the subject matter sometimes makes those same words very hard to read. The humour definitely helped to break a lot of the tension.
The three main women touch our hearts as well as each others although it's not always an easy love affair. There is much mistrust and even some hostility between them but a common goal brings them to see each other as women regardless of colour. Ms. Stockett has drawn her characters most carefully. They pull us in and make us care. Even her protagonist rings somewhat true although a little cliche. Having lived in the south I've witnessed some of it first hand. I still can't help feeling that Minnie and Aibileen were slightly shortchanged when it comes to a more in depth look at their lives. We see a lot of the surface and daily occurrences but not near enough of their feelings about their upbringing and history.
Now for the ending. This is where the book fell short for me. Things were a little too perfectly tied up and there was little to no mention of the still uncertain future that Minnie and Aibileen would face. It's a shame to say but not a lot has changed in the south. It's just hidden a lot better. Again we seem to just get a taste of something good.
I still liked this book a lot and would recommend it. I really enjoyed Stockett's style and would read more by her....more
It' such as shame that this book has such wonderful prose and then seems to drop the C bomb about a hundred times just for the sake being able to do iIt' such as shame that this book has such wonderful prose and then seems to drop the C bomb about a hundred times just for the sake being able to do it. It became so tiresome I had to struggle to finish this and I just couldn't seem to be able to get past that enough to be able to enjoy the book.
I think it will be awhile before I attempt any of his other books. ...more
I don't think you could find a more depressing and dysfunctional family. Well you probably could but let's just deal with the one we have. I might asI don't think you could find a more depressing and dysfunctional family. Well you probably could but let's just deal with the one we have. I might as well state that this is what drives this book. You'll find no warm fuzzy characters lurking here. These people are miserable and the ironic thing is that they pretty much deserve it. Poor choices are the bywords.
Mama wants a last family Christmas even if it means making some unreasonable and guilt ridden demands. The results are almost tragicomic. Her husband would like one as well. That is when he can remember what year it is. One brother strains to put as much distance between himself and home, St. Jude, while another brother seems to be on the losing end of their own immediate family's plans to not go under any circumstances. Then there's the sole hold out, a daughter who thinks it might just be the right thing to make the effort to be there. Each of them struggling with their own identity crises of the moment.
Franzen writes the dialogue and pathos so well that you can't help but become invested even if you can't stand any of his characters. His prose becomes essential to the telling. Otherwise I'm not so sure I would have either finished or enjoyed this book so much. The writing rings of sincerity once you get over the initial almost manic “look at me” feel that the book starts out with.
I knew I liked Franzen as soon as I read that he dissed Oprah and her book club. She's usually the criteria for why I will give what could be a good book a miss. I'm really glad I didn't this time and I don't think I'll be skipping any of his other books. ...more
I found this book far more horrific than Silence of the Lambs which had a similar basis. You really didn't need the addition of skinning a victim alivI found this book far more horrific than Silence of the Lambs which had a similar basis. You really didn't need the addition of skinning a victim alive to be frightened by this story, just getting into Clegg's mind was enough. Seeing him justify each abuse and each irrevocable step was chilling.
I'm not that fond of horror stories any more and it's mostly due to the expected gore or grossness value. There are few books that are written like Fowles novel these days and it says something about what we want out of our entertainment. Which I find as disturbing as I find the main character of this book....more
I had seen an excerpt of this on YouTube and when I saw it pop up on one of my feeds I just had to hunt it down and give it a read. I'm happy I did anI had seen an excerpt of this on YouTube and when I saw it pop up on one of my feeds I just had to hunt it down and give it a read. I'm happy I did and I'd recommend it to anyone that has ever had to get a recalcitrant child to sleep. We all need a good laugh from time to time.
Now I think I'll look for the full audio version as I heard that hearing it in Samuel L Jackson's voice makes it even better.
PS. This is NOT a book to read to your kids. ...more