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Warlight
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August 2018: Espionage > Warlight/Ondaatje - 3 stars

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message 1: by Anita (last edited Aug 31, 2018 10:34AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anita Pomerantz | 6734 comments **check out one of our fellow members' blog, www.thereadersroom.org, to see some other opinions of this one**

I am a sucker for a beautifully constructed sentence, and Warlight has so so many of them. Unfortunately, the other aspects of the book failed to live up to the prose. It’s truly an example of overly controlled plotting. Where is the conflict? The emotion? There were two chapters where these were in evidence. The ending of the first half of the book culminated on a dramatic note, and I felt some hope that finally, at nearly halfway through, we were getting somewhere I wanted to go as a reader. But alas, no. It actually got more boring. The chapter that focuses on Rose and her relationship with Marsh was another high point, but oddly it is narrated by her son, Nathaniel, which in so far as I could tell had absolutely no way of knowing the story he relates. The whole book is from his point of view, and yet suddenly, he’s omniscient? Bottom line, this book took a terrific premise and made it as dull as possible. The only character I cared about, Rachel, was in scant evidence. I gave it 3 stars only because I did delight in the outstanding use of the English language.


Tracy (tstan) | 1237 comments I’m with you on this one. I listened to it, and I wonder if I’d read it, I might have liked it more. But, I doubt it- I found myself saying “Come ooooonnnn!” way too often. I suspect I’d have done the same with the book.


Anita Pomerantz | 6734 comments Tracy wrote: "I’m with you on this one. I listened to it, and I wonder if I’d read it, I might have liked it more. But, I doubt it- I found myself saying “Come ooooonnnn!” way too often. I suspect I’d have done ..."

Misery loves company! I don't think reading it would have made a difference. The language is exquisite, but one redeeming characteristic does not make a great novel. However, definitely check out Jen's blog because I was in the minority, and it was quite interesting to read the divergent opinions. I'm perfectly capable of enjoying a slower paced book, but this one did nothing to engage me.


Jeremiah Cunningham | 717 comments This review makes me so sad. I found this book to be absolutely captivating. The fact that it had no clearly defined plot felt so right with the setting and the writing style. We certainly all have our own reading preferences and there is nothing wrong with that. On to the next book.


Anita Pomerantz | 6734 comments J.W. wrote: "This review makes me so sad. I found this book to be absolutely captivating. The fact that it had no clearly defined plot felt so right with the setting and the writing style. We certainly all have..."

I'm so sorry, J.W. I hate it when I dislike a book that a friend loved. I am very happy you enjoyed it! If you visit Jen's blog, you will see she LOVED it . . .and she's certainly a very discerning reader. This one just didn't click with me even though I appreciated the beautifully rendered sentences.


Anita Pomerantz | 6734 comments J.W. wrote: "This review makes me so sad. I found this book to be absolutely captivating. The fact that it had no clearly defined plot felt so right with the setting and the writing style. We certainly all have..."

In other news, sadly the next book, Milkman, was way, way worse for me.


message 7: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 8421 comments Anita wrote: "**check out one of our fellow members' blog, www.thereadersroom.org, to see some other opinions of this one**

I am a sucker for a beautifully constructed sentence, and Warlight has so so many of t..."


Well, I am glad it just wasn't me-everyone has been praising this book and I was too shy to admit that I put it down too many times and then just took it back to the library without finishing


Anita Pomerantz | 6734 comments Definitely not just you, Joanne! Sometimes beautiful sentences just arent enough. I am not even a particularly plot driven reader, but I think this lacked in the character development department as well.


KateNZ | 2667 comments Definitely not alone - I can totally understand why this book doesn’t work for everyone and your review sums it up really well, Anita. As you know, I am in the ‘adore it’ camp - the things others have disliked were exactly what made the book work for me. But the alternative views make sense.

Either way, I don’t think it will win the prize - it’s too similar to other things that Ondaatje has done, whereas ‘The Overstory’ is much grander, and ‘Everything Under’ (my pick so far) is a beautiful little piece of brilliance. I still have six to go though, sigh 😔


Jeremiah Cunningham | 717 comments Anita wrote: "J.W. wrote: "This review makes me so sad. I found this book to be absolutely captivating. The fact that it had no clearly defined plot felt so right with the setting and the writing style. We certa..."

We all have our own tastes. Thats what makes discussion of books great.


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