Rebecca's Reviews > Work Like Any Other

Work Like Any Other by Virginia  Reeves
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liked it
bookshelves: read-via-netgalley, dirty-realism, historical-fiction, booker-longlisted

Between the blurb and the first paragraph, you already know everything that’s going to happen. I admire books that can keep you reading with interest even though you know exactly what’s coming, but this isn’t really one of those. What Reeves’s strategy suggests is that the crime and its unintended consequences are not the important thing here, but rather Roscoe’s years in prison and what they do to his relationships, especially with his wife.

Ultimately I would have preferred for the whole novel, rather than just alternating chapters, to be in Roscoe’s first-person voice, set wholly in prison (where he helps out in the library and with the guard dogs) but with brief flashbacks to his electricity siphoning and the circumstances of his manslaughter conviction. I can’t rate this lower because the writing is entirely capable, but the structure made it so I felt the story wasn’t worth my time. (I was meant to review this for BookBrowse but couldn’t rate it highly enough.)

Favorite lines:

“The use of electricity is in the 600s, applied science. Religion is in the 200s. If there were any books on the death penalty, they’d be in the 300s—social sciences—but we don’t have any of those.”

“I fear we don’t grow, either, here in these walls. Instead, we go backward.”
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Reading Progress

September 7, 2015 – Shelved
September 7, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
February 9, 2016 – Shelved as: read-via-netgalley
February 9, 2016 – Shelved as: dirty-realism
February 9, 2016 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
March 8, 2016 – Started Reading
March 16, 2016 – Finished Reading
July 28, 2016 – Shelved as: booker-longlisted

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