Loyola University Chicago Libraries's Reviews > Random Harvest

Random Harvest by James Hilton
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's review
Nov 17, 11

bookshelves: beth
Read in November, 2011

Great premise, disappointing follow-through. I'm very surprised that I didn't like this; other reviews praise it for being engrossing, but I found most of it to be quite dull. Charles Rainier is an English politician and businessman who can't remember a few years of his life due to a WWI head injury. While set at the eve of WWII, most of the book is comprised of flashbacks to Rainier's life, eventually including scenes from his missing years. And, of course, there are women involved -- a cold present-day wife and the promise of an old, fiery romance that Rainier can't quite remember.

Sounds fantastic, right? Unfortunately, the book needs a shocking amount of editing; it is filled with tangents, superfluous characters, and a lot of talk about the state of England during and between the World Wars. Perhaps it's my fault for wanting to concentrate on the personal drama rather than the sociopolitical context, but I found myself frequently impatient, wading through pages about England when I *really* just wanted to concentrate on Rainier and his amnesia. I hear there's a terrific movie version available; perhaps I'll like that better.
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message 1: by Frances (new) - added it

Frances Yes, the movie is wonderful! It's very old, but well-acted. I definitely recommend it.

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