Loved this book as a child and still today. Yes, he beats his wife. My sister used it as an opportunity to talk about how, in the real world, violenceLoved this book as a child and still today. Yes, he beats his wife. My sister used it as an opportunity to talk about how, in the real world, violence doesn't solve problems and we don't get by with abusing each other. Kids are not stupid. If they are old enough to follow this story, they are capable of telling fantasy from reality. So, is it appropriate for a three year old? No. Use common sense and this book will be a charming work of art. Both the story and the illustrations are exceptional. ...more
As another reviewer pointed out, there truly are aspects of this book that deserve more than one star, but I will add: There are also aspects of thisAs another reviewer pointed out, there truly are aspects of this book that deserve more than one star, but I will add: There are also aspects of this book that deserve negative stars. So one star it is!
I do not regret reading "Rhapsody" but it was certainly a job and not a pleasure, and I do not (though the book ended in a cliffhanger sort of way) plan to read anything more than the spoilers from the other books in the series. I think I have learned what I can from this author. I love the idea of a journey that spans centuries. I love the fact that our female character rescues her menfolk instead of the other way around. But Rhapsody was just too hard to like, and the book was FULL of VERY INTENSE descriptions!!! I kept hearing!!! Captain Kirk!!! Reading the book!!! In my head!!! If you don't like melodrama, just read the dialog, and even then read it with one eye squinched up, your teeth gritted, and a big glass of wine nearby. The characters are prone to describe things to you. They are largely one dimensional and they make decisions that leave you questioning what happened to them between one scene and the next. Could the wordy story have left character altering moments completely out? Is that what was culled before printing, pivotal character changing events? Possibly.
If Achmed had been the main character... If the author had taken Hollywood's advice and "killed the babies and left blood all over the floor" (ie scratched a huge portion of the book that was NOT necessary no matter how you (the author) felt about those "babies".)... If Rhapsody had been a character that anyone other than a female Jesus could relate to... If frogs had wings...
Still, I'm glad I read the book. For me it is a study in what not to do to your readers, and I enjoyed the girl power, certain things about the world the author created, and Achmed... Loved Achmed! But the most entertaining things in relation to this book are the reviews. People either loved it or hated it, which is interesting in itself, and those that hated it wrote some really cleaver reviews.
Final advice: Read the book if you like to study what to do and what not to do as an author. You will find both between the pages. But don't read it for pleasure. If you read for pleasure: read the reviews -- not the book!...more