Lorraine's Reviews > The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood
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's review
Aug 04, 10

did not like it
Read from August 03 to 04, 2010

This book was lent to me by a friend on recommendation. We'd been discussing the book "The Time Traveller's Wife" and she mentionned I might like this book as a result.

Reading the synopsis I didn't know how to interpret the part about "he is faced with a choice - between life and death, the past and the present, holding on and letting go". I guessed the story might have a quirky point of view or twist to the plot, but was a little bit worried that the book may go out on a far-fetched angle.

This soon became fairly apparent in the book. Without giving too much away, I was reminded of The Lovely Bones and The Time Traveller's Wife with the way the book flicked from various perspectives. The plot was an interesting idea but I personally felt the love story element wasn't very "real" and was actually quite dull and predictable. Considering the love story was the majority of the book, it didn't bode well.

I also didn't enjoy the more or less constant reminder of the spiritual and religious side of things. I realise the book is about life and death, so this fits with the category, but... well, there was something about it that didn't sit easily with me in terms of the beliefs being voiced and then what happens afterwards. It just seemed a bit unnecessary in places.

I didn't warm to any of the characters which I felt a bit disappointed about. I found both Charlie and Tess to be a little bit wooden and strange. I felt like I knew nothing about them by the end of the book - we were given details about their lives and hobbies, yet the surface detail didn't allow me to get under the skin of them. The story had quite a sad element to it which I appreciated, but with the lack of being able to connect with the characters, I felt I couldn't really empathise with them - I only really empathised with their families and imagining the scenarios in real-life.

Alright for a quick and easy read. But I wouldn't want to read it again.
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08/03/2010 page 53
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