Alex's Reviews > The Trail of the Serpent

The Trail of the Serpent by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
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Jan 02, 2015

liked it
bookshelves: 2011, reading-through-history, rth-lifetime
Read in November, 2011

Good news: the characters. The mute detective Peters, and the alchemist Blurosset are particularly wonderful, but there are a host of other memorable ones. Nice job, Braddon.

Bad news: the plot. Do the contrivances and coincidences of Dumas, Dickens and Hugo irritate you? For heaven's sake, then, do not read this book. Right from minute one, the dumbest shit happens. The three authors I just mentioned are not being lazy when unlikely things happen; they're communicating something about their worldview. Braddon, though, is being lazy. Sorry, but it's totally true.

So, y'know, I had fun. I'm glad I read it. I'd check out more of her stuff.

Is it sexist to say I feel like Braddon writes like a dude? I don't even know what I mean by that. I guess it just feels like...kindof a dude book. Women don't play a very important role in the story.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Anna Its not sexist. She wrote this book because someone told her she was a nice little woman writer but she should try to write more like Mr. Dickens. The rest of her stuff doesn't read like pastiche.


Alex Yeah, I read the intro last night and that author said something similar. Interesting. I mean, it's not really a good or bad thing. Just something that occurred to me near the end of the book.


Anna I wonder if it's partly because this one has a male protagonist? Most of her later stuff has women as the main character. Or I supse it could just be that this was her first attempt at a novel and it's derivative of things she read. either way, I'm glad you read it and didn't hate it. I


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