Ron Bronson's Reviews > The Rook

The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
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Feb 23, 12

it was ok
Read in April, 2012

I desperately wanted to like this book. But I kept feeling like something was off. The dialogue wasn't where it needed to be, the characters seemed not nearly well-fleshed out enough. In the end, it just didn't do it for me. I'd recommend it if you wait for it on paperback or something, but it's not a must-read book that you need to spend a bunch of best-seller cash to read up front just because it gets a ton of good reviews...because the people saying otherwise aren't missing the boat, there are just a bevy of head-scratching choices in this novel that made it extremely difficult for me to finish.

But somewhere in the rough edges is a good story wanting to get it. It's just not coherent enough to make this story a must recommend.
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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terpkristin That's a bummer, this one is on my to-read list. :\ Oh well, I'll probably still give it a go once I get to it in the queue.


message 2: by Ron (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ron Bronson It's worth reading, just not a top billing sort of book.


message 3: by Ace (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ace I know exactly what you mean. The writing was just... off.


Kimberly Agree completely with your assessment.... I keep moving on to other books because I cannot get past how the main characters make observations in the dialog that are obvious as if what they have to say is brilliant.


Anastasia I'm feeling the same way about the dialogue. Something about the way she speaks is bizarre.


Anne I know what you mean. The way Myfanwy speaks she doesn't at all sound like someone born and raised in England. She sounds almost American, which I found very jarring.

I'm about 1/4 of the way through the book and, while I find it interesting, I'm having trouble with the writing. I've had this happen before with first time authors (especially if they are English majors). They're writing style just isn't quite polished enough.


Anastasia Anne wrote: "I know what you mean. The way Myfanwy speaks she doesn't at all sound like someone born and raised in England. She sounds almost American, which I found very jarring.

All of the terminology used in the book is American, not English. The characters say sidewalk instead of pavement, cell phone instead of mobile phone, they have Lean Cuisine which is not a brand we have in the UK, she orders blueberry pancakes which, again, aren't common here at all, you'd have to order off-menu or at a specific US themed restaurant. There was a complete lack of research done into basic life in England, which I found incredibly offputting.


Anne That explains why I had such a hard time mentally imagining the book taking place in England. I am tempted to say that maybe Mr. O'Malley's editors had him Americanize the terminology for the US edition (I recall an interview where JK Rowling mentioned having to deal with such a thing), but if you're in the UK and reading the same thing I am then it's definitely a mistake on the author's part. How disappointing.

(Random: I clicked your username because I thought your hair color looked cool and then realized I used to read your blog. Small world.)


Anastasia Anne wrote: "That explains why I had such a hard time mentally imagining the book taking place in England. I am tempted to say that maybe Mr. O'Malley's editors had him Americanize the terminology for the US ed..."

Haha, how weird! The hair colour was Cherry Bomb by Special Effects dye :D


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