rameau's Reviews > The Descent

The Descent by Jeff Long
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For a book that long very little actually happened in Jeff Long's Descend.

It had a slow start that reminded me of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and just like with Larsson's text, the story didn't really take flight until after the hundred page mark. Then I was devouring the pages as fast as I could.

The writing was enchanting and engaging - I'm not sure whether to thank the original author for this or the translator - and it kept me hooked. I got to the end having passed through each gate and turned each corner for maximum points - although, I could have skipped the rather obvious misdirection and end twist - and thought "Was that it?"

What was supposed to be so scary about it? The mere thought of closed spaces can drive me a little nuts and flesh-eating monsters running amuck should make anyone reconsider their holiday destination, but maybe neither of those were the point. Maybe the point was in the group dynamics and the psychological effects the deep can do to individuals. In that case, it would help very much for the reader to be able to remember more than two names of a hundred and fifty.

I need more than casual remarks about characters braiding each others' hair for their deaths to affect me in any way. Molly's fate for example was sorely in need of foreshadowing, and I don't mean the obvious kind.

For Ike, the mountain climber it's quite a journey. From the top of the world to the bottom of it and back up again. He, at least, finds a semblance of peace after the hell he's travelled through, but for the rest of us the story reads unfinished.

It really shouldn't have taken author eight years to write the sequel and, hopefully, finish the story.
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Reading Progress

March 1, 2011 – Shelved
July 6, 2011 – Started Reading
August 8, 2011 –
15.0%
August 9, 2011 –
20.0%
August 12, 2011 –
25.0% "Now we're getting somewhere."
August 14, 2011 –
32.0%
August 15, 2011 –
34.0% "I've read today. Honest."
August 16, 2011 –
35.0%
August 17, 2011 –
40.0% "I'd take the two month holiday and go back, but then again I've never been comfortable in tight places."
August 17, 2011 –
42.0%
August 17, 2011 –
47.0%
August 20, 2011 –
75.0% "I don't have a clue how the author thought he could end this story in just 140 more pages. Wait, I tell a lie, there's a sequel on my desk waiting for its turn."
August 21, 2011 – Finished Reading

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