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The Reaping by Bernard Taylor
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really liked it

A clever but uneven novel which leads the reader to assume they’re plunging in to a retro-modern Gothic tale about an artist commissioned to paint a portrait of a frail young heiress in a mysterious mansion. But once all of the squares are covered on the Gothic bingo card, the author begins flinging twists at the reader with gleeful abandon. Although it serves the story well not to waste momentum on any occult theories or ponderous monologues, the change in tone, pace and the ending are rather abrupt. To be fair, the twists are fun and the ending works well enough. I found Thomas, the painter, realistically self-absorbed and enjoyed that the reader can never be sure whether he’s a great painter or not (avoiding spoilers), but his self-absorption also wears a bit thin at times. Nevertheless, an excellent inclusion in the Paperbacks from Hell series, which kicked off with the eco-horror of The Nest and was followed by When Darkness Loves You, which has an astronomically high level of what-the-fuckitude. It’s actually the Paperbacks from Hell context which nudges this one from 3 to 4 stars for me.
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Reading Progress

June 1, 2019 – Started Reading
June 3, 2019 – Shelved
June 3, 2019 – Finished Reading

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