I’ve had The Dinner on my Amazon wishlist for a while, but I don’t actually remember why. I remember reading some list a long time ago of book recomme...moreI’ve had The Dinner on my Amazon wishlist for a while, but I don’t actually remember why. I remember reading some list a long time ago of book recommendations; it might have been on Slate.com. I put a bunch on my wishlist and promptly forgot about them.
Every once in a while I would go back and look at the list, but I never felt like I had enough of a reason to spend money on them. But we met up with a potential wedding invitation designer at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, and got there pretty early…and so ended up buying a few books each. The Dinner was one of the ones I picked up. I started reading it while waiting for our appointment to start, got home and kept reading it, and then finished it this morning.
It’s been called a European Gone Girl, and while the plots aren’t very similar, the style certainly evokes Gillian Flynn’s work. Two couples, each with a fifteen-year-old son, meet at a restaurant to discuss the heinous crime their sons share responsibility for. The tensions rise as they discuss movies, the weather, anything to avoid the subject that brought them together in the first place. As the meal reaches its end, civility begins to disintegrate as they discuss their children—and how far they are willing to go to protect them.
So, this was my reaction upon finishing Allegiant:
No no no no no No no no no no no no NO NO NO NO NO
I thought maybe a few days would go...moreSo, this was my reaction upon finishing Allegiant:
No no no no no No no no no no no no NO NO NO NO NO
I thought maybe a few days would go by and I wouldn’t hate it so much, but not so. I still hate the ending. I invested far too much of myself in this series for it to end the way it did.
CAUTION: This review contains both large and small spoilers. If you don’t mind minor spoilers, feel free to read everything except the blanked out part. If you don’t want to read any spoilers, finish reading Allegiant first and then come back and read this review. :)
I actually didn’t like much of Allegiant at all. I’m so disappointed. The plot seemed all over the place and very contrived, like Roth felt she had to make up the NEW problem of “genetically pure” vs. “genetically damaged” when I don’t really think she needed to. Introducing brand new stuff in the conclusion of a trilogy is just no. A conclusion is for concluding things, not introducing an entirely new plot line.
Guys, Dr. Sleep was awesome. I mean, I knew it would be, but I was also afraid a little because this is the first true sequel (other than the Dark Tow...moreGuys, Dr. Sleep was awesome. I mean, I knew it would be, but I was also afraid a little because this is the first true sequel (other than the Dark Tower series, I suppose) that Stephen King has ever written, and I was worried it might spoil the stand-alone-ness of The Shining, or even Dr. Sleep itself. Luckily, it did neither of those.
Dr. Sleep’s introduction picks up a mere 3 years after The Shining ends; the lady from the tub in room 217 has found Danny even though they live thousands of miles away from the site of the Overlook. Dick Hallorann, after a panicked call from Wendy Torrance, comes to visit Danny and teaches him how to lock the bad spirits away in his mind so that they can’t get to him anymore.
After this, we see brief flashes of Danny’s (now Dan’s) life as an alcoholic. Though he swore to never follow in his father’s footsteps, the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray, as the saying goes—and Dan spends at least a decade waking intermittently from alcoholic stupors to find himself broke, homeless, jobless, or all three. Finally, he gets off a bus in the tiny town of Fraizer, New Hampshire, determined to start a new life. There, he joins AA and eventually gets a job as an orderly in a hospice.
Soon after he moves into the upstairs room of the hospice, he begins to occasionally feel as though someone is reaching out to him in the way that Dick Hallorann used to, except this person isn’t speaking—they’re just “there” somehow. As the years go by, the telepathic link between him and this other person—a girl a few towns over named Abra—grows stronger.
Meanwhile, a band of vampires that calls themselves The True Knot travels the country in a caravan of campers and motorhomes. They survive on “steam,” which they steal from children with the shining, children like Dan and Abra, by killing them slowly and torturously. Abra’s shining is much stronger than any the True Knot has ever come across, and they want her badly—and now Dan must help save Abra from Rose the Hat, the terrifying leader of the True Knot.
To be 100% honest, as soon as I saw the word “vampires” in the description of this book, I was minorly turned off. I wasn’t crazy about ‘Salem’s Lot (I know, I know) and have just never really been into the whole vampires thing. But I couldn’t NOT read this, especially considering how much I loved The Shining, and I’m so glad I didn’t just write it off as another vampire novel. It was a great novel that could technically stand on its own, but it does refer to the Overlook and the happenings there enough that it’s certainly helpful to have read The Shining. My recommendation would definitely be to read The Shining first because everything will make more sense. (Plus, it’s just an awesome book.)