It was OK but was way too long for the scope of the book. Certain passages in particular seemed to drag on, long after the point had been made. I was...moreIt was OK but was way too long for the scope of the book. Certain passages in particular seemed to drag on, long after the point had been made. I was hoping for something more from the plot but it seemed to just fade away.(less)
Really appalling - this guy cannot write - he uses a very juvenile style whereby everything is an extreme - he is the most this or that. He also seems...moreReally appalling - this guy cannot write - he uses a very juvenile style whereby everything is an extreme - he is the most this or that. He also seems to have a need to drop names - perhaps to qualify his own, self determined?, monicker "The Barefoot Doctor".
I only read the book because I got it free at a tree huggers convention. I must have been in-between books because I did actually finish it.
I had to question the validity of some of the things in the book, including the story involving the title - the author appears to believe that someone was able to drive with their eyes closed.
Don't read this book, put it in the recycling bin!(less)
I found it quite readable but left me feeling a bit empty. I didn't like the old Jacob - his lack of grace towards the other "guests" was too strong....moreI found it quite readable but left me feeling a bit empty. I didn't like the old Jacob - his lack of grace towards the other "guests" was too strong. I also found the sexual references in the love story quite unnecessary.
Apart from that it was an easy page turner. I thought the characters were well developed and I got a sense of the hopelessness of the period. The description of the chaos when the animals were let loose was quite effective.
I thought it was quite clever to confuse the reader (well it got me anyway!), in the preface, into thinking it was Marlena that committed the murder - I had to compare the preface with the main text to work out why I got confused.(less)
I've read another Jon Ronson (Them) and like his style - this one was just as interesting. It was funny and provocative. One of the best books I've re...moreI've read another Jon Ronson (Them) and like his style - this one was just as interesting. It was funny and provocative. One of the best books I've read in a while. I like his straight forwardness and honesty plus he comes across as very human and is not afraid to describe his perceived short comings.
It's not too heavy but it is thought provoking and Ronson is quite thorough in his research. I found it particularly interesting to read about the fashion of disorders and the effect they have on the public - like the suggestion that the triple vaccine causes autism.
I also liked the fact that he didn't clearly make his mind up one way or the other and that in fact he appeared to change his mind or was swayed one way and then the next. I can see the points he raises for both sides of the argument about the classification of disorders and I liked the way he reported his encounters with Robert Hare. It's clear that Hare means well with his test but it's also clear that it can be misused.
I was reminded of the film Halloween - Donald Pleasance is the doctor who's only desire with regards to Michael is to ensure he is kept locked up.
It's a very bleak diagnosis that psychopaths are uncurable and that instead of their condition being reduced they are, through treatment schemes, just learning how to conceal their deviancy. A particular treatment programme was described as a "finishing school" for psychopaths as it was revealed that the re-offending rate actually went up after release compared to offenders not "treated".(less)
Dreadful. Appalling style. Unlikeable character. Grammatical errors all over the place - "wondered" instead of "wandered"... I just think it must be t...moreDreadful. Appalling style. Unlikeable character. Grammatical errors all over the place - "wondered" instead of "wandered"... I just think it must be too easy for some people to get their words into print when books like this can emerge. Even if you like bikes I can't imagine you'll enjoy reading this rubbish.
For example in "Prologue" he writes "If I had a choice of a Matisse from which to draw inspiration, or a saucy postcard you buy from the seaside, well, put it this way, in my life story, and remember this well; is that a stick of rock in yer pocket boy, or are you just pleased to see me?"
It's a shame he didn't take someone on his trips that could write as I'm sure his adventures would be interesting to read. I can't continue with this book as it is just too ugly and I've just remembered that there's another book I put down which I'd rather wrestle with than this monstrosity.(less)
A simple enough tale but was spoilt by too many words. There were some good moments but on the whole I was dissappointed by how difficult it was to re...moreA simple enough tale but was spoilt by too many words. There were some good moments but on the whole I was dissappointed by how difficult it was to read in terms of the pace. It could do with a major edit to improve its readability.
There's a faint whiff of Catcher in the Rye but Harry is not as obnoxious as Holden Caulfield. He is still a bit annoying with his immature lack of responsibility.
I was bugged by the fact that he only went on a road trip rather than spending sufficient time away to sort himself out.
I also would have liked to have read more about the relationship between Mrs Vicar and Harry. It seemed to get interesting for a while and then it was closed down.
It seemed strange in the begining how distant he was towards his son, but I imagine it's not an uncommon thing in real life and I liked that realistic approach to the novel.(less)
Fin Macleod is a Detective Inspector with the Edinburgh Police and is sent to investigate a murder on the isle of Lewis. He is from the island and has...moreFin Macleod is a Detective Inspector with the Edinburgh Police and is sent to investigate a murder on the isle of Lewis. He is from the island and has to confront some issues from his past. The customs and landscape of the island feature in the book including an annual hunting trip, to a remote rock, that is undertaken by the men of the island.
It was OK - bit long on description in parts but found it quite readable. The cover of my copy says "Evil Lies Within" and there's a picture of a blackhouse - implies that there's something spiritually awry at that building but it's misleading - the evil lurks elsewhere.
I thought the characters were well formed and the plot moved along at a reasonable pace. There wasn't a great deal of police work involved - a lot of the book is taken up by the events in Fin's past. Every other chapter is written in the first person as Fin goes back over things.
The attention to details with some sections of the book make for interesting reading and made me think about my reactions in those situations - especially spending time at the blackhouse.(less)