Lucy's Reviews > Doomsday Book

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
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's review
Sep 20, 2008

liked it
Read in September, 2008

A wonderful story from a mediocre writer. In parts boring and repetitive (very!...ok, we get it, you have run out of toilet roll...) and other parts quite devastating, I would recommend it if you can be bothered to stick with it until its end, which is much better than the first 2/3 of the book. Ms Willis could have done with a better editor. Incidentally, my edition of the book had hardly any full stops (periods) in it. I thought it was a device of the story, but no, just terrible, terrible editing (or lack of).
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message 1: by Ubik (last edited Oct 20, 2008 09:20PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ubik Oh my god, the lack of periods was ANNOYING! I kept running sentences together if the next one started with a word that would be normally capitalized anyway. It started getting a little easier towards the end, but I still had a few slipups. I wanted to yell at the book sometimes to use the word WATCH! Who calls a watch a 'digital'? Grrrrr! And, like you, I wanted to kick Finch's character in the nuts if he mentioned lavatory paper one more time...and brussels sprouts and gobstoppers and that silly muffler. And will somebody PLEASE milk the cow!!?!?! Instead of 445 pages, it should have been more like 250.

I did admire the character development though. I REALLY cared about Father Roche (moreso than Agnes if you can believe it and I didnt think I would). I also really felt for Rosemund quite a bit. That, Connie Willis definitely has a handle on. I also loved the descriptions of the 14th century way of life and the subtle way that we realize that the first settlement Dunworthy discovers is the nobles that visited Lady Imeyne's family -- they didnt get very far... I also think that Willis has a good sense of continuity and bringing things back that into the story that we wouldnt have thought we should care about (i.e. I found it kinda funny that he flips over a dead body who he believes to be Kivrin only to discover that it was that annoying sister of Sir Bloet who Kivrin had earlier noted had an even brighter blue dress than she had).

Where she lacks is knowing when to stop (leaving out crap we dont need to know about and/or telling us 87 times), knowing how to pace her story, and the believability of the whole thing. How exactly did Badri screw up the jump? And why EXACTLY 1348? How convenient. And there were a lot of things that I cant quite pinpoint that really bothered me from a realism standpoint. Like, why wasnt Kivrin given a locator when she was sent, or a map and yet Dunworthy and Colin didnt think twice about bringing one along? Hmmm...

Lucy oh yes, that bloody muffler! How insignificant was that?!!

I too loved Father Roche, and was torn apart at *that bit* (trying to leave out any spoilers ;) ) The part in the past is actually far superior to the modern-day ramblings. It was painful to read at times, as I am sure you agree. The word buboes still gives me the eeby-jeebies. Ugh.

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