As a mystery, this was fairly thin. I was able to figure out the whodunnit very early on, though not necessarily the howdunnit! But it's a fast, fun rAs a mystery, this was fairly thin. I was able to figure out the whodunnit very early on, though not necessarily the howdunnit! But it's a fast, fun read and a master class in unreliable narrating. I love an unreliable narrator, and when even the narrator knows she is unreliable, it's both frustrating and interesting....more
I wanted to like this book more than I did. I found it oddly unsatisfying, both as a drama and as a character study. (For the record, nothing in it stI wanted to like this book more than I did. I found it oddly unsatisfying, both as a drama and as a character study. (For the record, nothing in it struck me as funny even though it's supposed to be a "tragicomic.") Neither Alison nor her father seemed to have much depth, and therefore their relationship was more a series of events than a deeply moving story of character growth and familial connection. Perhaps because the LGBTQ movement has come so far, the tale of a closeted gay man in the mid-century and his out lesbian daughter in the 70s actually seemed a bit tame, and some of their characteristics a bit cliche. Which is a good thing--it means society has moved past being shocked by issues of sexual identity. But it's not such a great thing for this book, because a lot of the issues felt a bit been-there-done-that in terms of story.
One caveat on this review, though: I believe a lot of my problems stem from a basic dislike of the graphic novel format. I've never understood graphic novels (or comics, or manga) as a format. I find it annoying to have to switch back and forth between reading and looking. I don't think a comic frame can lend any depth to a situation, not as much as a well-written paragraph can. This is the first graphic novel I've read in years, and I thought perhaps my opinion of the format had changed. It hasn't. So I attribute much of my distaste for this book to the format itself. If you love graphic novels, you may love this book!...more
I like mysteries. I REALLY like detectives! So, you know, I liked this book. Cormoran Strike is a well-drawn character and his personal life interesteI like mysteries. I REALLY like detectives! So, you know, I liked this book. Cormoran Strike is a well-drawn character and his personal life interested me. His relationship with his new assistant interested me. His involvement in the world of tabloid fame and infamy interested me. He's a fun detective character.
BUT. The mystery itself is very unsatisfying. There are several different threads that all play a role in the final reveal, and very few of them make real sense. Cormoran's method of working is detail-oriented and fun to read about, but then the conclusions he draws at the end are based on little or no evidence and require him to make mental leaps that I wasn't convinced to make with him. It felt as if plot threads which should've been simple red herrings were brought in to play a part in the crime itself, and a lot of them were sort of nonsensical in that context.
I liked the characters and the plot enough that I was really looking forward to a big, satisfying revelation at the end. Unfortunately, it was a letdown. That said, I'd probably read another one just to see Cormoran and find out how his personal life turns out!...more
I'd actually give it three and a half stars. I thought it was interesting to have such a lighthearted book deal with such a heavy subject (domestic viI'd actually give it three and a half stars. I thought it was interesting to have such a lighthearted book deal with such a heavy subject (domestic violence). But oddly, this is also what keeps me from rating it higher--it was a fun read, but just felt like a very slight book, not much to it. Still, the descriptions of suburban motherhood were spot on and the characterization was great. ...more