I rather liked this. I think. It was long (almost 600 pages) and I grumbled a bit at first "dammit, book club, again with the giant ass book", but I fI rather liked this. I think. It was long (almost 600 pages) and I grumbled a bit at first "dammit, book club, again with the giant ass book", but I found it a pretty fast read; knocked it out in about two weeks, which isn't bad considering all the other stuff I've got going on. I'm still processing it, so this review may well change as I think on it.
To an extent, this is a "writers' book", as a friend likes to call it. Not a whole lot of action, lots of good sentence structure, lots of conceptual stuff. Should make for a good book club discussion. I go back and forth as it whether a lot of it could be edited out or not. I generally think, yes, but then you'd be left with a book without much going on at all. There's so much character development and personal interaction; that seems mostly the crux of the book - not the plot but the characters. Not that a one of them is sympathetic, mind you. Which is okay for me; I don't need to like any of characters to enjoy a book. Everyone in this is pretty pretentious and snobby and not anyone I would care to know. Though they are eccentric and the author paints them as unique and interesting creatures, I don't think the rest of even a small school would think anything of them much besides, "oh, yeah, those weird Greek people", if that.
Even so, every now and then, toward the end, I found myself getting Henry and Francis confused, which is strange to say about a book *so* centered on characters.
The murders do make for an interesting framework for a character study, which I feel like this is. I think it would be interesting to know the story from other perspectives.
I will say there is a TON of drinking in this. I mean, I went away to college and I drank a fair bit my freshman year, but not like that. Everyone is drunk all the time, especially in the latter half. I don't know if that's the author's way of indicating a loss of control or what, but it was excessive to the point of boring. It also made it a little hard to read for me, personally, with some things currently going on in my own life.
I don't know that I'd call this a "psychological thriller", as it is often described. Psychological, yes. Thriller? Not so much.
EDITED TO ADD: When posting on another site, I see that I listened to an abridged version of this back in 2005. I don't remember that at all. At only 3 hours long, though, it was clearly hacked to pieces. I wonder what I would have thought were I to have read such an abridged version?...more
I enjoyed this. A sweet story about a girl struggling with a illness and her bonds with those suffering a similar fate. It's a nice teenager love storI enjoyed this. A sweet story about a girl struggling with a illness and her bonds with those suffering a similar fate. It's a nice teenager love story, but much more than that, it also really seemed to me to have a firm understanding of teen feelings and thoughts. As a nurse, I greatly appreciated the insight into the minds of ill teens. The "plot twist", as it were, did not come as a particular surprise to me, but that did not lessen my enjoyment. There is a lot of reference to a particular book which I kept meaning to research and see if it actually exists. I almost hope it doesn't, really, as I like the idea of the author almost writing two books at once. I'm now curious about seeing the film version....more
I really like Jim Gaffigan as a comedian so I was looking forward to reading this. Unfortunately I was absolutely bored to tears and didn't find it fuI really like Jim Gaffigan as a comedian so I was looking forward to reading this. Unfortunately I was absolutely bored to tears and didn't find it funny really at all. It's almost all about his kids which I wasn't expecting in which I have absolutely no interest in. Maybe people with children especially numerous ones would find this funny; I think I just wasn't the right audience....more