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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,160 ratings  ·  144 reviews
Daniel Ford has 30 days to live. Accused of the horrific murder of his best friend Nathan 12 years before, he has exhausted all appeals and now faces the long walk to the electric chair. All he can do is make peace with his God. Father John Rousseau is the man to whom the last month of Daniel's life has been entrusted. All the two men have left to do is rake over the last ...more
Hardcover, 344 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Orion Publishing
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,160 ratings  ·  144 reviews

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May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There is little to say about this book (as I'm absolutely heartbroken and can barely see to type, if I'm honest) except to say it's just amazing, as are all R J Ellory books.

Briefly, we have the (just lovely) Daniel Ford who we know is on Death Row for the murder of his life long friend, Nathan Verney. Daniel and Nathan were inseparable throughout their lives and were like brothers.

Daniel is white and Nathan was black and in 1960's America it was a turbulent time for the long suffering black pe
Paula Brandon
Jul 21, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of the biggest criticisms and no-nos you'll find when reading reviews about books is the good old, "Telling instead of showing." As in, the writer should show how things are, rather than just tell the reader. For example, instead of just writing, "Lisa is really intelligent and witty," show examples of how Lisa is intelligent and witty. Authors and their books are accused of being quick and lazy if they tell and don't show.

Yet, here we have a book that has been widely acclaimed, with terrifi
Praveen Palakkazhi
Feb 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-reviewed
R.J Ellory has a curiously distinct voice which soaks the reader in a sense of melancholy and nostalgia, and which also elevates him above standard genre fare. His books can come under the category of Crime fiction, but there is a definite literary quality to his writing which can put him under the Literary fiction variety too. This is the second book of his I am reading (though it is his first published one) after the highly rated 'A Quiet Belief in Angels' and there is definitely a few similar ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jennifer (JC-S) by:
Shelves: librarybooks
‘I have faith in the fact that I am going to die.’

It’s 1982 and Daniel Ford is thirty-six years old. Twelve years ago, Daniel was convicted of the murder of his best friend, Nathan Verney. In thirty-six days, he will walk to the electric chair and pay with his life.

‘I ask myself what life is, what does it mean? Perhaps nothing more than a story, and each story different and rare and pronounced with its own voice.’

Father John Rousseau has been assigned to talk with Daniel during this last perio
Rob Twinem
Jun 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
R J Ellory's books are about human nature and human emotion exposed....You cannot help but be touched and greatly affected by his writing long after the book is finished. What I find so powerful in this and other books is is depiction of childhood and how our childhood experiences stay and affect us all our lives. Candlemoth is about being on death row and the realization and inevitably of our own mortality, this is a great starting point to evaluate and make sense of our lives. Candlemoth is a ...more
Eddie Owens
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Gall
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Superb book, good storyline, beautifully written. I would strongly recommend this book, and very much look forward to reading more by this author who came strongly recommended.
Stephanie (Stepping Out Of The Page)
Candlemoth is truly a phenomenal book that was gripping from start to end. Apart from it being quite predictable, I can't really fault it. The characters were well formed and the plot was interesting. I thought that the writing flowed smoothly and the transition from present day to past memories worked extremely well. I adored the symbolism of the candlemoth. This book works so well at delving deep into so many issues and could perhaps even be considered a bit of a history lesson (though certain ...more
For this kind of epic flasback story with so much emotions to it and with backdrop of important US history of 50s,60s etc the writing was not good enough for me to believe the personal story of the characters,the characters themselves.
Laura Kelly
Jul 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Judi Mckay
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a Xmas present. Not sure I’d have picked this for myself
Good book. Would make a brilliant movie and one scene in particular was truly bum clenching!

Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Four times I’ve been betrayed – twice by women, once by a better friend than any man might wish for, and lastly by a nation. And perhaps, truth be known, I betrayed myself. So that makes five.”

R.J. Ellory always grabs me from the instant his story begins. This is the third of his novels I’ve read (the first he published), and each time I’ve been captivated by the opening lines.

Candlemoth is the story of Daniel Ford, a young white man who grew up in the South Carolina of the 50s. From the beginn
Gisela Hafezparast
May 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Really it is a 3.5

I really enjoyed the historic details of this book and then the description of the two main authors relationship as children and teenagers. However, I felt whilst their "flight" was descriped very well, I would have like much more on how this changed their relationship. To understand them and what happened better it would have also been helpful to hear more about their parents, surrounding, etc. Whilst Daniel's love life was well documented, Nathan's important relationships wer
Feb 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a real "wow" book. It has shades of John Irving about it, particularly A Prayer For Owen Meany. Like Owen Meany, it's set during the Vietnam War, has the relationship between two young boys at its centre and you know one of the boys will die from the outset. It could have been sentimental, overdone and downbeat but the author handles all these issues sensitively in beautiful prose

Having read the header description posted from Amazon I thought I was in for a mediocre read but the review
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the book that got me started with Roger Ellory.

Glad I found it in the 'interestsing reads' section of my local library. I have since bought it for myself, and re-read it.

Other reviews have captured the story and resolution better than I, but for me I liked this in the way that I liked Stewart O'Nan's 'The Good Wife' - the mapping of the characters' psyches that leads them (in both books) into a resignation that one's life is mapped out and it's too hard for us to climb out of the pit and
Beth (bibliobeth)
Really enjoyed this book, good story and well written, a few unnecessary parts I thought but by the end I couldn't put it down. Looking forward to reading more by this writer. ...more
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Easily the best book I have read this year. In the vein of "The Help"/"To Kill A Mocking Bird"/To Sir With Love". Brilliant. ...more
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Daniel Ford has thirty-six days to live. Accused of the horrific murder of his best friend Nathan twelve years before, he has exhausted all appeals and now faces the long walk to the electric chair. All he can do is make peace with his God. Father John Rousseau is the man to whom the last month of Daniel's life has been entrusted. All the two men have left to do is rake over the last ashes of Ford's existence. So he begins to tell his story. Daniel's story takes him from his first meeting with N ...more
Doreen Dickinson
Aug 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
I am very surprised by the ratings for this book. I read the anniversary man and really enjoyed it. However I don't think I enjoyed one page of this book. The character development was poor. I never came to like or understand the characters. And the main character just lamented about his sad life the whole time but you never understood his emotions are pain or the reasons in which he got there. And the surprise ending was exactly what I had anticipated and kept reading for. However even that see ...more
Kris Van Laer
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my third book I've read from Ellory ( 2 in a row) and again i was not dissappointed. Ellory's writing style is great and he has a gift in creating characters you can symphatize with ( sometimes I feel some Stephen King in him, though different genre). In this book Danny is looking back in death row on his life by confessing to a priest. Convicted ( innocently) for murdering his best friend the book takes you back to the sixties in the US, a country in turmoil due to rascism, murders, rio ...more
Jul 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Greg Hickey
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
A carefully plotted crime novel mixed with thoughtful meditations on life, death, friendship and American history. The deliberate reveal of how narrator Daniel Ford ended up on death row makes this novel compelling, and the additional story elements put it over the top. Ellory’s short sentences and paragraphs pull the reader along and help expose Ford’s psychology, though I found them less effective the few times they offered different similes for the same object. And while the plot sputters a b ...more
Gavin Richards
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first time for a long time that I became immersed in a book that was "unputadownable" thank you Mr Ellory.
From the first page to the last I was enthralled. I read "Angels" a couple of years ago and enjoyed that immensely too but not quite to the same degree.
I'll be looking for Mr Ellory's other titles and I'm excited that he has produced so many but perhaps I read the best one first which would be disappointing.

Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
Really good, really tough. A man is on death row, a white man who has lived in the turbulent 60s whose best friend is black and is found murdered. He recounts his story as he awaits his final moments.

Ellory gives amazing historical details, his writing is truly beautiful, and the ending is so good. Such a terrific book.
Sean Harding
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful reflective, melancholic crime fiction novel, which is part about friendship, part about modern US history and politics and part about the brutality of the US justice system and the horrors of the death penalty.
It never seems to preach though, and the ending is totally satisfying.
This is a great read, and the first book by Ellory. I am looking forward to reading more from him.
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A great novel about coming of age, friendship, conspiracies, 1960s/70s history, life on death row, coming to one's own decisions, regret, and love. The novel contains many great smaller stories and interesting characters that end up to a compelling read that I've greatly enjoyed until the end. ...more
Grada (BoekenTrol)
Just like earlier books by Ellory, this one I also liked.
It is a slow book, but a lot is happening in rhe story, so that's okay. The outcome is not surprising, but perhaps I'm a tidbit disappointed by it and would have preferred a different one.
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A slow starter for me.

definitely well written, and I enjoy reading it after passing the third of the book, the only real problem for me is that I am no 100% convinced that the overall story and the ending feel real enough for me.
Beth Arrowsmith Herbert
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really got engrossed in the book and loved the way history was wrapped up in a truly heartbreaking story. A thought provoking book that keeps you thinking way after it ends.
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime, suspense
Excellent! Well worth a read.
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Roger began his first novel on November 4th, 1987 and did not stop, except for three days when he was going through a divorce from his first wife, until July of 1993. During this time he completed twenty-two novels, most of them in longhand, and accumulated several hundred polite and complimentary rejection letters from many different and varied publishers.

He stopped writing out of sheer frustrat

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