Laura's Reviews > Gabriel's Inferno

Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard
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Dec 03, 13

Read in July, 2012

The only way I know how to describe how bad this book was is to share a few passages with you and give you my feedback. I've maintained the original format as much as I am able to help emphasize some of my points. Here it goes.

The Passages

"Gabriel brought his hand up slowly so as not to spook her and gently caressed her cheek." What is she? A horse?

“Don’t cry, little Rabbit.” Um, Paul is a total creep.

“But Julia didn’t want to be keyed.” And then a few paragraphs down. “Julia turned away, ashamed of the sudden and intense rush of emotions she was having, over being keyed of all things, and having him cite beloved children’s literature to her.” Ok, this whole segment has issues. First and most obvious to me was the word keyed. I know this takes place in Canada, but both main characters are American. Not knowing what being keyed meant in Canadian I went to trusty Urbandictionary.com and gave it a looksee. Definition 1: High on marijuana. Considering what a straitlaced, naïve, insult to 23 year-old virgins Julia is, I don’t think she’s high on anything, except maybe Italian poetry over-exposure. Definition 2: when ones vehicle or other expensive possession becomes defaced by someone scraping off the paint with their own set of keys. Well this is definitely something I wanted to do to her face after the first fifty pages. Definition 3: Getting completely fucked up through the use of both alcohol and marijuana. Again the use of illegal substances for our porcelain, angelic heroine I'm not feeling. But maybe she was ducking quick shots from her bottle of cheap tequila, again. If you look at the next part “sudden and intense rush,” this sounds like an ad for Trojans so maybe it has a sexual connotation? But then you throw in the “beloved children’s literature” and I’m starting to get really creeped out. This is Paul again, by the way. What is it with him and kids?!

“Beatrice,” his arm tightened around her waist as he moved to whisper against her hair, still damp from the shower. “Don’t cry.” With his brilliant blue eyes closed, Gabriel pressed his lips to her forehead, once, twice, thrice.
“I missed you. So much,” she whispered, her lips moving against his tattoo.
“You found me,” he murmured. “I should have waited. I love you.
Now Julia wept harder, clinging to him as if she were drowning and he was her savior." *gak!!!* Ok, before your panties get all wet I would like to point out the reason why our virtuous heroine’s hair is wet in the first place. Beatrice, or whatever the heck her name is, found it necessary to tidy herself up a bit after Gabriel lost control of his reflexes during a drinking episode and vomited all over her. ALL OVER HER. The last time my boyfriend got the urge to regurgitate I made a point of staying the hell out of his way and you better believe he did not get the cuddle treatment afterwards. This is not something I want to be in the middle of. I will have you know that it made me personally cringe to have to rewrite the word “thrice” since, as much as the author would like to be as good as Shakespeare, he doesn’t have the sense to realize that this word looks stupid in any other context. The sobbing throughout this book made me ill, a feeling Julia experienced every time someone exposed her to anything sexual in nature. At least we both have the ability to become ill in common. Now keep in mind as we reread this passage and our hearts are aflutter, Gabriel is still very much inebriated during this conversation. Not only does he have no clue what he’s saying, but remembers none of it the next day, which leads me to the next quote.

"Why is he so angry with me? Why doesn’t he remember?" - omg, seriously? This coming from our little tart who drinks on the sly? Please tell me she’s not so naïve that she doesn’t understand, at least from an academic point of view, the potential side effects of overindulgence. I mean she is, after all, so smart she got admitted to Harvard. Couldn’t figure out how to get a full ride but, nevertheless, was a bright enough talent for the "pole-in-keister Dante specialists" of Harvard. (This keister phrase, btw, was used twice. I'm kinda of the opinion that phrases like this should be used only once in a book since they are so unique and stand out like a blinking light. But who am I to judge. I'm just the reader, not the Dante specialist.)

“He sounded like sex. Or at least, what Julia imagined sex would sound like…Oh my, Gabriel. Oh my, Gabriel. Oh my, Gabriel. Oh…my…Gabriel.” BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHA OMG THAT SOUNDS SO INCREDIBILY IDIOTIC I AM BESIDE MYSELF!!!

On her kiss with creep boy, Paul: “Julia felt his surprise in the quick clenching of his jaw. He tensed beneath her lips, no doubt in shock at her boldness.” Um, honey, there are other reasons why a guy wouldn’t be receptive to your advances. Considering Paul’s proclivity for children’s lit, I hesitate to venture a guess into what causes him to clench anything.

“He would leave her as he found her, the blushing brown-eyed angel, surrounded by bunnies, curled up like a kitten in her little chair.” There is something about this book that is just child-molesty. Maybe because everyone has the maturity level of a 12 year old. This is not a Paul quote, btw.

“It was the lyrics about fucking like an animal, and the look on his face as he brought his forehead to hers and whispered it to her, staring straight into her soul…she’d believed she heard the voice of the Devil. Julia had wrenched herself from him and fled to the ladies’ washroom, looking at the pale and shaking girl in the mirror, wondering what the hell had just happened. She did not know why he had spoken to her like that or why he had chosen that moment to confess. Nevertheless, she knew him well enough to know that the repeated lyric was a confession of his deepest and perhaps darkest intentions and not just a mindless repetition.” Holy, moley. What the hell did I just read? The only thing this girl is shaking right now is her head. (This whole scene is referring the Nine Inch Nails song, Closer.) Something visually that I did not care for in this paragraph was the use of italics, which is overused in general in this book. In this paragraph it's emphasizing something that I personally don't think needs the emphasis, especially when coupled with eye-grabbing words like "fucking." Furthermore, the addition of these force the reader to hitch when reading, thus interrupting the flow. Overuse of these devices can tend to lessen their impact to the reader, leaving them with a choice. They can either make the emphasis and feel like they're mentally riding a dirt track or ignore it completely and enjoy the smooth ride. Thus begs the question, was this device even necessary to begin with?

"Gabriel? Sweetheart, don’t listen to that kind of music anymore, okay?” She sounds like my mother when I was a teenager.

“The other photo took Julia’s breath away, for it was the most overtly erotic, and she was instantly repulsed by its rawness and aggression…Julia was disturbed by the photo,” but not so much that she didn't stop to describe it in full detail, “and immediately looked away in embarrassment.” Methinks something wicked this way comes and she’s in total denial of it.

kemfn: I still can’t find a translation for this word. Can’t say I particularly care too, either. Too many blasted different languages in this blasted book.

"He smashed a chair. He smashed a metal chair." And yet she still walked in the room. Wow. That's healthy.

”Look at me when I’m speaking to you.” I know someone who says this. It pisses me off like you wouldn't believe. It’s so incredibly rude and disrespectful.

“She recognized the top photograph as the fifth one, the one that had been over the bed. It was gently erotic and almost tender. He shouldn’t have been ashamed of this one.” Wait?? Didn't she look quickly away in embarrassment? How the heck does she remember specifically which photograph this is and where it was hanging?! Mmmmm...She is so censorious and judgmental. It’s sickening.

The Flower References:
• "You blossom under kindness, don’t you? Like a rose." Omigosh, how seriously lame can you be!
"She does blossom under kindness. Just like a rose, opening her petals." Gag!! Apparently incredibly lame!
• "Her shoulders were hunched, and her head was down. He’d made his little rose wither. Any blossoming had now been completely undone." You know, one of the best things anyone ever said to me is this. No one forces you to feel anything. Those feelings are something within you and no one but you can control them. With that said, could this chick get just a little more anemic please?
• "She would be a rose in his eyes, and she would flower beneath him." God bless it, no more!
"I want her petals to open,' Gabriel breathed softly," TO HIS SISTER, NO LESS! CREEP!

The Incessant List of Pretentious Shit:
• Chopin’s Nocturne 9, Op. No. 2
• Henry Holiday’s Dante meets Beatrice at Ponte Santa Trinita
Venus de Milo and Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne
• Botticelli’s complete set of illustrations of The Divine Comedy, original sixteenth century reproductions and the only complete set in existence, naturellement. The Vatican doesn’t even own this.
Serego Alighieri Vaio Armaron Amarone 2000: And yes, just in case you were wondering, this IS the wine from the vineyard that Dante's son purchased in the fourteenth century. So there. O.o *phooooooooo*
• Meisterstück 149: a rather ugly (in my humble opinion) fountain pen that costs more than I would like to spend on twenty such writing instruments.
Cyrano de Bergerac: I didn't want him to feel left out
The Velveteen Rabbit: I’m sorry but for some reason this whole kids lit stuff creeped me out big time!
• Mozart’s Requiem Lacrimosa: I happen to like this piece of music (I actually listen to the whole piece, not just the one track on repeat like some people), but I’m going to be giving it a break while I contemplate the complete translation into English. Give me a break, please!
• Rodin’s The Kiss, which “Julia had not purchased a replica of it when she visited Musée Rodin in Paris because she found it too arousing.” …ugh…followed by a vocabulary lesson in French on the usage of the word baiser and it’s double meaning of “to kiss” or “to fuck,” which probably made her ill and had to rush off to the ladies' room. This chick is so frigid, I swear.
• Freaking Beowolf!!
• Laphroaig: “a single malt Scotch whiskey” with just a drop or two of spring water to “open up the taste.” She should have known that with all her wine swishing capabilities.
• One paragraph: “My family is like a Dickensian novel, Julia. No, it’s worse.” – I agree, this could get much worse, wait for it – “We’re a twisted mix of Arthur Miller and John Steinbeck, with a bit of Dostoyevky and Tolstoy thrown in.” - Oh ga! She didn't! But wait, we're not done!
• Three Thomas Hardy references occurring in the following paragraph: Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, and Jude the Obscure (Oh, is that who wrote this book?)
• Hem’s Rabbit Songs featuring the eternal hit, Half Acre
• Complete 1st stanza from John Donne’s The Flea. I actually had to look up the name for this one since the author did not provide it for once.
• “Gabriel liked it because they sold a particular kind of Trappist Ale that he preferred, Chimay Première, and it pleased him to have pizza in the Neapolitan style to pair with that beer.” Holy shit, you have got to be kidding. It would please me if you would just eat the damn pizza. It's not polite to swish your beer in public. And please don't ask me what was going on with that lambskin rug right after this. I tried not to look.
• The ongoing references to Héloïse and Abelard (which I just kept picturing Big Bird’s cousin Abelardo on the Mexican Sesame Street. I think I know something more obscure than the author. Wooopeee!)
• Edith Piaf’s La Vie en Rose <-- I am so sorry Ms. Piaf to drag you into this!
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin vintage 2002: I think my nose just turned up an inch.
You and Me by Matthew Barber, who?
Far Far by Yael Naim. Apparently I’m not playing along; 67 other people highlighted this part of the book. I am not one of them.
"Hands of the Precious, Gollum.”
Buena Vista Social Club
All the Pretty Faces by The Killers, preceded by two shots of that cheap tequila.
Prospero’s Speech by Loreena McKennitt: I’m really out of it on this one and the 113 people who highlighted this passage.
• da Vinci’s La Scapigliata This is really beginning to give me a headache.

…and the list goes on and on and on and on…

My Concluding Thoughts

”She’s been broken, you jackass.” Sister Rachel to Brother Gabriel. And what, may you ask was our dear Julianne so broken about? The answer is something so incredibly lame it doesn’t even warrant repeating and would, in fact, ruin what little suspense this book contains.

There is nothing healthy to be learned from this book unless you include the prologue where Beatrice leaves Dante standing on the road like a fool. If your ideal future life involves codependency and psychological abuse, please, be my guest, read this book and add to the rave reviews it has received thus far. It has most assuredly not gained any esteem from me.


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Comments (showing 1-50 of 200) (200 new)


SilverRaindrops Thanks for listing all the music, so I don't have to look it up ;).


Laura No problem ;)


Linda Awesome review.


Laura Ha! Thx =) Book really ticked me off!


message 5: by Leah (new)

Leah You are hilarious and I wished I read this review before I read the book! I'm glad I'm not the
Only one who thought this book was ridiculous!


Halah Ahmad Thank you God i am not the only one who had WTF moments whenever there were Flower References ....


"He smashed a chair. He smashed a metal chair." And yet she still walked in the room. Wow. That's healthy. hahahaha


Emily hahaha oh man, your review is epic - it's exactly what I was thinking as I was reading the book - which i can't bring myself to finish because of all the obscure references and weak characters...


Laura Yeah haha it was a horrible experience for me. I have someone who's using my Kindle account and I hope she doesn't run across that book. I'm just not ready to accept the fact I spent actual real money on that thing!


Misty Spot on review... I couldn't finish the book. Half way through I was just so angry.... I can't believe all the 5 star reviews! Glad I'm not the only one. Definitely won't be sharing this one


message 10: by Laura (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura Misty said: Half way through I was just so angry.... I can't believe all the 5 star reviews!

Really! I was honestly upset and shocked by how well this thing has been received! My friends couldn't get me to stop blasting it to them for at least a week!


Freespirit Couldn't finish this book... And I don't believe that the author is a man. It's either a girl about 21-23 years of age or an extremely naive woman about 29-32... Lame book.


message 12: by Halah (new) - rated it 1 star

Halah Ahmad Freespirit wrote: "Couldn't finish this book... And I don't believe that the author is a man. It's either a girl about 21-23 years of age or an extremely naive woman about 29-32... Lame book."

what ??? WHAAAT ??? the author is a man ?????????!!!


message 13: by Laura (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura Halah wrote: what ??? WHAAAT ??? the author is a man ?????????!!!

Believe it: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/...


Shocking, I know.


message 14: by Freespirit (last edited Oct 14, 2012 03:32AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Freespirit Halah wrote: "Freespirit wrote: "Couldn't finish this book... And I don't believe that the author is a man. It's either a girl about 21-23 years of age or an extremely naive woman about 29-32... Lame book."

wha..."


It is just a marketing move, I think, to draw attention, perhaps. To write smth like that - for a MAN is beyond lame, lol))) It could be a gay, though... Not that I have anything against gay people...))


Veronica Florence what a great review!! You literally made me laugh out loud! I'm glad I wasn't the only one creeped out


Aiashine omg. you are hilarious :D


message 17: by Kay (new)

Kay Omg. THANK YOU! I thought there was something wrong with me. I read reviews before I bought the book and it was all positive like 'Christian grey who?'.
So when I realized --15 pages in-- that this book wasn't ringing the right bells, I was like, 'am I missing something?'
The heroine is so frustrating and such a prude!!
The cheesy Latin/Italian bs was eye-rollingly annoying.
And the ending, I was expecting mindblowing sex (the book dragged for so long, so I thought maybe the ending will be phenomenal), but NO! It was lame, prude sex.

Total waste of time.


message 18: by Laura (last edited Oct 29, 2012 01:31PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura Kay wrote: "Omg. THANK YOU! I thought there was something wrong with me. I read reviews before I bought the book and it was all positive like..."

OMG! Me too! I totally thought something was wrong with me cause I just haaaaaaated it. I read all these great reviews that were just like "if you're looking for the Fifty Shades antidote well you found it!" and the classic "I would want my daughter to use this book when she's old enough as a role model for her behavior," and the "this book is so profound, it's Thinking Woman Porn." Yeah! I'm thinking this book is full of crap!!! Gah!!! You have got to be kidding me!!

but NO! It was lame, prude sex. lmao


message 19: by Samantha (new)

Samantha So glad I came across your review before I finished the book. I kept waiting for the point where it actually gets interesting but clearly that's never gonna happen. If only I could get a refund.


message 20: by Laura (last edited Oct 31, 2012 11:21AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura Samantha wrote: "If only I could get a refund."

If you got it through Amazon Kindle & it's within 7 days they will give you a refund. Don't be like me and try and stick it out! I've tried to finish it but it's just a joke.


message 21: by caracal-eyes (new)

caracal-eyes Haha. Shiit. Sounds like Twilight. Awful writing? Painful-to-read descriptions (and, well, prose in general)? Words used over and over and over? All kinds of pretentious shit? Etc etc etc? Check for all of these. Since reading Meyer's series (unfortunately for me, I'm a fast reader, and finished the 4th book just before my sense of taste caught up with me), I've developed a pretty decent sense for the books of this type. While this would likely have been sufficient to warn me off, I enjoyed reading your review, which confirmed my suspicions wonderfully, even if the examples you included were enough to nauseate me. XD


message 22: by Luys (new) - added it

Luys I haven't read the book actually, I just saw how close it was to winning last year's Goodreads award in Romance and I decided to check it out. I still might read it, though I'm not quite so sure after reading your review :). All the same, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to write such a lengthy and witty post, I had fun reading it. Merci.


message 23: by Laura (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura Caracal-eyes wrote: "I've developed a pretty decent sense for the books of this type."

I know better myself, I swear!! :)

And de rien, Luys! Try to enjoy if you can manage it ;)


message 24: by Mary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mary Wasowski I guess we read two differen't books, because I thought it was filled with sensual sexy compassionate love, but your opinion is your own as mine is. I love goodreads, I have enjoyed many books


BookFiend Bahahaha - the best part of reading this book so far has been reading your review! I have read about 1/4 of the book at this point, and already your review mirrors much of what I am thinking. All the literary references are too much and take away from (what little) story... and The Velveteen Rabbit? Really!?!


message 26: by Laura (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura BookFiend wrote: "The Velveteen Rabbit? Really!?!"

I read this right around when that Sandusky trial was blowing up all over the media so I blame that for my being super sensitive to the whole kids lit thing...but omg I mean really, I think about it even now and ugh it's seriously creepy...


message 27: by Tara (new) - rated it 1 star

Tara Nice to see I'm not the only one who found this book annoyingly dreadful. My poor husband. I don't know how many times I threatened to throw this book across the room. The male character was too meek. This book still irritates me. lol


message 28: by Erica (new)

Erica I tkink the book is okay so far, not as bad as Fifty Shades of Crap but who knows im not done it yet.


message 29: by Laura (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura Erica wrote: "not as bad as Fifty Shades of Crap but who knows..."

I think I liked 50 Shades a little bit better than this one. I'm not saying I even liked 50 Shades to begin with, but for me the writing style, the plot, the character development were just totally lacking in this book. 50 Shades was not much better for me; it had a lot of the same issues for me that this one had. This was for me was just so much worse. I really had trouble taking it seriously. But each to her own, right? Enjoy the rest of your read :)


Mιss •kαthєяίиє•  Τhε Emεrαℓd Pяίиcεss® haha :) After reading your review I have to say that I'm so curious about it that I'll go find it so that I can read it!(even if it is to just laugh)


message 31: by Laura (last edited Nov 06, 2012 12:50PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura Mιss •kαthєяίиє• wrote: "(even if it is to just laugh)"

lol :) (where's the like button on GR??? hahaha)


message 32: by Mary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mary Wasowski I can't say enough about the love story in Gabriel's inferno and rapture, I truly thought it was a beautiful story, you have to give it a chance, but once you see how they connect in inferno, it just becomes more amazing as it goes on. I will admit I did love inferno better then rapture but how it all came together in the end, I was pleased. Now that Sylvain is writing a 3rd book to this story, I for one can't wait.


message 33: by Halah (new) - rated it 1 star

Halah Ahmad Erica wrote: "Fifty Shades of Crap "

hahahahahahha ! that really gave me a good laugh ! lol :)


message 34: by Laura (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura Mary wrote: "I did love inferno better then rapture..."

I've heard that too, that Rapture was better than Inferno. I tell you what, Mary, I don't think I can ever finish Inferno. If I can set aside my aversion to it well enough some where down the line, however, I will consider reading Rapture. This is a major stretch for me, though, but I am glad you've enjoyed the series and are looking forward to the 3rd :)


message 35: by Mary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mary Wasowski Let's table inferno and rapture and move on to other books! I recommend, taking chances by Molly Mcadams and pulled by a.l. Jackson and my favorite, Tina reber, 2 book arc, love unscripted and love unrehearsed!


message 36: by Erica (new)

Erica Mary wrote: "Let's table inferno and rapture and move on to other books! I recommend, taking chances by Molly Mcadams and pulled by a.l. Jackson and my favorite, Tina reber, 2 book arc, love unscripted and love..."

Now your talking Pulled was an awesome book also take this regret was good to.


message 37: by Erica (new)

Erica I finished reading inferno and then said to myself well rapture must be better and nope laura was right it stunk.
This book just took way to long to get to the point.
but i must say it was better but not much then fifty shades.


message 38: by Mary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mary Wasowski Take this regret was very good! About to read, when we collide!


message 39: by Laura (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura Well now we're getting somewhere :) Something new to read. I will have to check these out! Thanks!!


message 40: by Odile (new)

Odile This why I got a "Good Reads" account. My genre has always been Sci-Fi and Fantasy but I have this need to expand my horizons a bit so I have started reading different books for a change. And Good Reads has helped me weed through the ones I should not read. Anyway, I have seen the ads of this book all over our subway train. I was curious so here I am. Thanks for the review and you made my day. I'll skip this one for sure. I have just got an iPad mini and have been scouting for good reads... The last thing I want is read another book that would give me another intense migraine (Like 50 shades... Sorry fans, not truly impressed on that one - the book made me cringe the whole time esp when she says "oh my... I want to get inside the book so I can slap her back to her senses).

So again, thanks for the review. Saved my money for sure!

(Thank God I got 50 shades for free)


message 41: by Laura (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura Goodreads has been great to find new stuff. Just watch out. There is a lot of fanfiction out there. This one was based off 50 Shades/Twilight. Most of it is just garbage. Minimal editing, no editing, no original ideas. And they will have the highest ratings from all the devout fans. The groups/forums are good for weeding this mess out. GR has been great for me :)


Freespirit Laura wrote: "Goodreads has been great to find new stuff. Just watch out. There is a lot of fanfiction out there. This one was based off 50 Shades/Twilight. Most of it is just garbage. Minimal editing, no editin..."

I'm having a hard time trying "to weed this mess out", as u so skillfully put it. What kind of groups/forums should I use? lol))
I started reading In Death series of J.D. Robb. So far so good. Old books rule!


Jessica ROFL XD This review is golden!


message 44: by Sarah (new)

Sarah LMFAO!! just came accross book 2 in this series in the GoodReads Semi-Final round of the awards. thought id check out book 1, get a sense if it was something i would like.
have to say; really want to read just to have a laugh, based on everything you have put!!! lmao


message 45: by Laura (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura Freespirit wrote: "What kind of groups/forums should I use? lol))"

Jeanne, who did a review for this book as well actually has a great list of fanfic on her page. That's where I've been checking mine :) Ever since I read this book I've been avoiding the stuff out of principle :P

@Sarah: It's in the semifinals?!?! Why am I not surprised?! Bleh!!! lol


message 46: by Sarah (new)

Sarah they always are aren't they!! lol


message 47: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Laura wrote: "Freespirit wrote: "What kind of groups/forums should I use? lol))"

Jeanne, who did a review for this book as well actually has a great list of fanfic on her page. That's where I've been checking m..."


could you put a link to her page? i found her original review, but cant find a list.
its getting beyond a joke now! it seems like every book with a ton of buzz and 5* reviews everywhere is a pile of S**T!


message 48: by Laura (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura Here she is! She has a bookshelf, "pulled to publish fan fiction" that has a good list of crap! http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/24...

I swear anytime I see a 5 star review on anything these days my eyebrow goes up (in my mind going "yeah right!!") and I start reading the bad reviews, which I did anyway before this episode. The second they mention 50 Shades, or anything like it, I put it on my mental do-not-read list...ugh...it's depressing lol


message 49: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Laura wrote: "Here she is! She has a bookshelf, "pulled to publish fan fiction" that has a good list of crap! http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/24...

I swear anytime I see a 5 star review on anything..."


thank you so much! going to check it out now! :)


message 50: by Mell (new) - rated it 1 star

Mell Very thorough review. I am American and when I read the book I interpret the phrase "keyed" as a reference to "all keyed up." It can mean feeling nervous or excited or anxious with absolutely no references to drugs. Don't own the book so can't look up what preceded use of the term keyed. But I have to say I think it's a common reference to use in America, just used in a slightly sarcastic way in this book.


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