Sara's Reviews > The Commoner

The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Oct 03, 09

it was ok
bookshelves: audiobooks, not_impressed, fiction
Recommended for: people with patience for a slow story with little pay-off
Read in February, 2008

I found this book slow and deliberate and repetitive. I was intrigued by the premise: a first person narrative by the Empress of Japan who was, in her youth after WWII, the first commoner ever to marry into the Imperial family. Unfortunately, this excellent idea for a fascinating plot in a rare and exclusive setting tiptoes along, dwelling on uninteresting details and never really allowing the reader to experience any of the character's emotions through her stilted re-telling.

This is the first book I've read by John Burnham Schwartz, so I can't say I'm a great judge of his style, but I can't imagine why an author would fictionalize such an interesting story and fail to do anything even remotely creative with it.

Readers who don't mind slow-paced stories may be more drawn in than I was.
9 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Commoner.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

02/06 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Robyn so far I agree with your take (I'm on pg 135) - and why is a man writing this? Or I just feel he doesn't make her come to life as someone else might, male or female.

back to top