Jeanette 's Reviews > The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
796425
's review
Jun 05, 10

bookshelves: all-fiction, young-adult-books, miss-trees
Read in March, 2010

I see I'm not the only one unthrilled by this second book. There are no spoilers in what follows, but if you loved the first one and are excited for this one, read no further. Or if you do, don't complain to me that I killed your joy.

This story meandered way too much to keep my interest, and I thought the plot was dreadfully thin. Lots of window dressing and trying too hard to be cute. It felt very much like a 70-something-year-old man trying to sound like an 11-year-old girl. And of course, that's exactly what it is, but it wasn't so noticeable in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.
You have to read nearly half the book before the actual mystery is introduced, and then the story continues to wander hither and yon. It had its moments, but didn't add up to much when the tale was finished.
Furthermore, the entire thing was so larded down with inapt similes that it was at times unbearable to continue. Am I the only one who noticed this? I couldn't decide whether to hurl the book against the wall---or just plain HURL!!

I thought the first book was far more charming and entertaining. I didn't hate The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, but I won't be continuing with the series.
22 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag.
sign in »

Reading Progress

03/13/2010 page 142
40.0% "Hmmmm....no indication yet of what the mystery is that needs solving..."

Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

Jeanette Nudge, nudge, girls. ;-) Just in case you didn't catch it, this is the next Flavia de Luce story.


Julie YAY! I may just have to buy this for the home library :)


Julie I will definitely read this with a more critical eye after your review, Jeanette! Love the hurling bit :)


Jeanette The similes may plague you too, Julie, but I think you'll enjoy the book well enough.


ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) Well, you know how I feel about the similes in the first book -- and I'm only on page 60. Well, if I bother with the second book, at least I have an idea of what I'll be getting myself into.


Stephanie The similes are meant to be ridiculous. The narrator's bizarre perception of the world is pretty much the whole reason these books are funny.


Jeanette Oh, yes, Stephanie, I have no doubt you are right. Just not my thing.


message 8: by Jackie (new) - added it

Jackie you noticed the similes too!! They were killing me in the first book. I'm debating whether to continue the series or not.


Jeanette It's been a while now since I read this, but I think the similes are worse than in the first one. And the story's not as much fun.


message 10: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Awwwwww, shame!


message 11: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Hummmm, in spite of your unimpressed review I am still going to have to check out this series at some stage. They just sound a bit too enticing not to have a go.


Jeanette Caroline wrote: "Hummmm, in spite of your unimpressed review I am still going to have to check out this series at some stage. They just sound a bit too enticing not to have a go."

Bein's how you don't care much for fiction in general, I'll be interested to know how these books fare in your esteemed opinion.


Lord Nikon I think the mystery is less the draw / point with this series. Flavia and her clever precocious nature is the main thing, as is the setting of Bishops Lacey and Buckshaw. Experiencing these events by those way markers is why this series is so successful. Thinking of them as mere mysteries (which they are not) is a bit off the mark. They are almost post-WWII slice of life narratives moreso than anything else. But I can see how someone who was seeking another rollicking mystery might be disappointed in a sequel which relishes in the life and setting of its protagonist. But then, that's why I love the books. :)


Samantha Authors writing novels posing as mysteries annoy me no end. It's bizarre marketing that's taken over the industry.


Lord Nikon Hang on, I'm not saying it's NOT a mystery. It has mystery still...it's just less the main point / draw. It's not "posing" as anything. There is a mystery to be solved, it's just more Scooby-Doo and less Sherlock Holmes. And to be really frank...no book can POSE as anything, do away with the back cover synopsis and you'd have to read it to find out. A book is what it is, nothing more. To say it's posing as something else is disingenuous.


Jeanette Lord Nikon wrote: "I think the mystery is less the draw / point with this series. Flavia and her clever precocious nature is the main thing, as is the setting of Bishops Lacey and Buckshaw. Experiencing these events ..."
Good point, Lord Nikon, and I think you're right about this particular series. The draw is not the mysteries, because serious mystery readers would be disappointed. LOL about the Scooby Doo reference. So true.

Samantha, I do share your frustration with what sometimes seems to be misleading book marketing. Publishing is a tough industry. I guess they have to resort to whatever will sell the books.


back to top