The Bronze Horseman discussion

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message 1: by Alycia (new)

Alycia | 549 comments Mod
I know there are other books out there by Simons, has anyone read them? If so, what was it and did you like it or not?


message 2: by Linda (new)

Linda C | 30 comments I have read a couple, and frankly, they didn't do anything for me. "Red Leaves" (or something like that, I'm really bad with titles) was just ok, and "Tully" really missed the mark. Since she is, or was, Russian, I think that's why TBH series is so good-- she is writing about herself. The other books, when she tries to write like an American, about Americans, simply miss the mark.


message 3: by Alycia (new)

Alycia | 549 comments Mod
Thanks Linda! I have heard that Tully wasn't great. I see her other books frequently in used bookstores but don't pick them up because I really couldn't tell if they would be good or not.

I did just puck up her newest book, Road to Paradise. Thus one could go either way. It could be really good or totally miss it's mark.


message 4: by Kelly (new)

Kelly  | 637 comments I had Tully and read a bit of it but couldn't get into it. It is a tomb and I didn't want to commit to something that didn't grab my attention. To many books so little time.


message 5: by Alycia (new)

Alycia | 549 comments Mod
I stick to the same philosophy as well Kelly. Why punish yourself by having to read a bad book when there are so many other books to read that are great. I will stay away from that one.


message 6: by Linda (new)

Linda C | 30 comments Unfortunately, while there aren't a lot of books that are truly bad, there are way, way too many books that are simply mediocre-- not so bad that you quit reading, but, rather, when you get to the end, you simply wonder why you bothered.

I think you can divide books into four groups-- the first group are books that you love and will remember (ex. TBH trilogy); the second group are books that you maybe didn't particularly like at the time, but when you finish, you were glad that you persevered (ex. The English Patient-- while I was reading it, I just wasn't getting it, but at the end of book, I felt like I was better for finishing it); the third group are books that you simply hated, and either gave up on OR finished and still hated (ex. for me, The Children's Book, just did not like it, all 700 pages of it or anything written by Elin Hilenbrand, master of the four word sentence). These three categories total maybe 50% and that might be a stretch.

So that leaves the last category-- books that are basically three stars, in other words, average if you want to be kind, or mediocre if you don't. Not bad, but not really good either. Or had a lot of good things happening, but than ultimately fell short, by either being too long, badly edited, poor character development etc. And this category seems to be the vast majority of what I seem to read.

Do others agree, or am I just to picky about mediocre writing?


message 7: by Alycia (new)

Alycia | 549 comments Mod
No, I don't think you are picky. I get disappointed when books are just okay and deserve only three stars. I feel like I was cheated out of reading a really great book in its place. I give books 150 pages typically before I give up. There have been a few that I have given up on before hand.


message 8: by Linda (new)

Linda C | 30 comments I'm too anal retentive, obsessive/compulsive, whatever it is, to give up on a book unless it is so horrible that it defies description. Thus, I finish a lot of mediocre books. I wish I could stop reading something that I don't like, but, as I said, too often it's not that I hate it, but more that it fundamentally disappoints me-- not so bad that I can justify quitting, but rather, it just makes me feel blah about it. Kind of like a commercial that you see over and over and can never remember the product being advertised.


message 9: by Alycia (new)

Alycia | 549 comments Mod
I used to finish books once I started them, but with the bad ones it was a chore that I hated doing. There are too many good books out there to read rather than torturing myself with a bad book. I do sell them or pass them on in case someone else might enjoy them better. I understand it is a little different with mediocre books. I feel like I am in a book slump if I read several mediocre books back to back. The cycle usually is broken with a good book and I do like to jump around different genres to avoid a slump as well.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

I actually feel very sorry the first book I read by Paullina Simons was The Bronze Horseman, yet if it hadn't been it, I wouldn't have fell so badly for the author. Quite frankly, to put aside the plot, the characters and the whole drama, I love how she writes, you get so engrossed in the book and you just don't think of anything else while reading.
Aside from TBH trilogy, I've read The Girl In Times square and A Song In The Daylight. I did enjoy them both, but it's really hard to compare TBH with other books she's written.
All that being said, Paullins Simons is my all-time favorite novelist.
I wish she could write more novels about Russia, though... :) But everything she writes is welcomed by me ;)


message 11: by Alycia (new)

Alycia | 549 comments Mod
I wish she would write more about Russia too.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

I've read Tully and Girl in Times Square. I was really torn about Tully. The writing was really well done, in typical Paullina Simons' style, but the story itself was horribly depressing and Tully made me furious. I really hated her and what she did to the men in her life. I would not recommend that book to anyone. I technically didn't even finish it, I just skipped a big chunk and read the end to see what happens. I'm SO glad I read TBH series first or I would have never tried another of her books.

However, Girl in Times Square I thought was fantastic! It was so outside the genre I normally enjoy that I would not have tried it if it wasn't written by Paullina, and I was really surprised by how much I loved it. Mystery, serious family drama, unexpected love, and moments of beautiful prose that really stayed with me. That was a great book.

It's fascinating to me that the same author who wrote TBH can write such vastly different books. Most authors stick with a pretty predictable formula, but you don't really know what you're going to get with Simons.


message 13: by Mishelle (new)

Mishelle LaBrash (mishalabrash) Kira wrote: "I've read Tully and Girl in Times Square. I was really torn about Tully. The writing was really well done, in typical Paullina Simons' style, but the story itself was horribly depressing and Tully ..."

Was the Girl in Times square on the same romance level Kira? Or more Drama.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't think anything is on the same romance level as TBH, but there is a love story. It is not the dominant story, but it's there. It was more of a drama/mystery I guess, because I was really shocked by where the plot went, but the main character is great and it was a really engrossing read.


message 15: by Mishelle (last edited Oct 29, 2010 02:31PM) (new)

Mishelle LaBrash (mishalabrash) Very true.. Not much compares to TBH.. I guess. Lol. But thanks for the info.. Im not big on contemporary reads.. I have seen it, but have never been inspired enough to pick it up... Until now.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

I rarely, if ever, read contemporary fiction, it's just not my thing. But I was pleasantly surprised by that book. The plot had all kinds of twists and turns I was not expecting and it was a really interesting character study. I read it with my sister and a friend of mine and we all loved it.


message 17: by Megan (last edited Oct 29, 2010 02:56PM) (new)

Megan | 410 comments Aside from the amazing storyline in TBH, what I really enjoyed about the trilogy was the historical aspect. Unfortunately the other books that I've read by Paullina Simons have been very contemporary and follow a very similar formula (over time, I actually have a hard time distinguishing what happened in one book from the other, they all kind of morph into the same book for me). Personally I think Paullina Simons should perhaps tackle another historical fiction as that's where her strength lies...


message 18: by Kelly (new)

Kelly  | 637 comments Mumbo wrote: "Aside from the amazing storyline in TBH, what I really enjoyed about the trilogy was the historical aspect. Unfortunately the other books that I've read by Paullina Simons have been very contempora..."

That would be heaven. I am still waiting for Diana Gabaldon to write the love story of Jamie's parents. She said this long ago but then she somehow got knocked upside the head and is all into LJGrey. Boy I hate that damn character.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

So it's really obvious that everyone loves Outlander, and I'm wondering if I went wrong somewhere. I read the first three books but gave up on the fourth a couple hundred pages in. I don't remember if I got bored with Jaime and Claire (I know, sacrilege!) or if it was that I didn't care for Brianna and Roger, but I put it down and never thought about it again. Does it get better in later books and should I give it another go?


message 20: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 183 comments I actually loved Tully - it is so tragic but also beautifully written and a powerful story. I didn't enjoy it the first time I read it, but I've read it a few times since then and really loved it.
The Girl in Times Square is also really good, as is Red Leaves. I don't like Paullina's two newest books - A Song in the Daylight and The Road to Paradise - I actually found them quite poorly written, boring and strange/pointless. I also felt that way about Eleven Hours. Besides those three though, I LOVE her books!


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Yeah, my sister really liked Tully and identified with her, so I guess it's a different experience for everyone based on your own frame of reference. I'll have to look into Red Leaves. Thanks for the input :)


message 22: by Kelly (new)

Kelly  | 637 comments Kira wrote: "So it's really obvious that everyone loves Outlander, and I'm wondering if I went wrong somewhere. I read the first three books but gave up on the fourth a couple hundred pages in. I don't remember..."

My 2cents on the Outlander series books 1-3 are sublime. The other you really must be a fan atic to love them.
They are detailed and often DG goes on and on.

I started Tully and thought it was going to be good. I just wasn't up for a long book and that one was a tomb!

:-)


message 23: by Milena (last edited Oct 29, 2010 05:40PM) (new)

Milena (love_tea78) | 157 comments Kira wrote: "So it's really obvious that everyone loves Outlander, and I'm wondering if I went wrong somewhere. I read the first three books but gave up on the fourth a couple hundred pages in. I don't remember..."
Kira, the first 3 books of the Outlander series are the best in my opinion. They do not get better after the 4th book. Actualy I found the 5th and the 6th books are the worst. They just dragged on for me. I have read the whole series just because I was already invested in the characters and wanted to know how it will end. So if you did not enjoy the 4th book, don't bother reading the rest.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

THANK YOU, that helps me tremendously. I think my 'to-read' list is long enough without revisiting that series. I'm glad I read the first three though.


message 25: by Alycia (new)

Alycia | 549 comments Mod
I agree with Milena and Kelly. I've only read the first 4 books in the Outlander series but the first 3 are great, books 1 and 3 were my personal favorites.


message 26: by Leea (new)

Leea | 317 comments Ladies... I cannot believe you did not like the outlander series. I think you learn so much more about the characters as the books go on. I did read outlander first then BH...:)


message 27: by Milena (new)

Milena (love_tea78) | 157 comments Leea, I would not say that I did not like the Outlander series. I just thought after the 3d book they became a bit dull and repetetive.I still enjoyed them. I read the Outlander books before TBH also and I think TBH is so much better. I will read the next Outlander book (whenever it comes out) because as I said I want to know how it will all end and I still like Clare and Jamie. Diana Gabaldon is very good writer, but I think she needs to edit her books, so they don't dragg on.
Looks like this post became about Outlander series, so I will add I have read Girl in Times Square and I though it was a great book. Very different from TBH, but the characters and the story are great.


message 28: by Alycia (new)

Alycia | 549 comments Mod
Leea wrote: "Ladies... I cannot believe you did not like the outlander series. I think you learn so much more about the characters as the books go on. I did read outlander first then BH...:)"

Me too! I love both, but have my favorites in the Outlander series. I read Outlander before TBH


message 29: by Kelly (new)

Kelly  | 637 comments Milena wrote: "Leea, I would not say that I did not like the Outlander series. I just thought after the 3d book they became a bit dull and repetetive.I still enjoyed them. I read the Outlander books before TBH al..."

I am looking forward to reading more of Paullina's work. That is a goal for 2011.

I LOVE Outlander Jamie was my first Love but Alexander will be my last.

I just think you need to be a true Outlander fan or you may not make it.


message 30: by Leea (new)

Leea | 317 comments Kelly, let me know how you like her other work... I have yet to read any of her other books :)


message 31: by Chrissy12 (new)

Chrissy12 (chrissy_12) | 86 comments I have read Tully and thought that it was such a different storyline to my usual light-hearted books. I agree with your review Kira, it was well written but I too did get quite angry at some of the things that Tully did.
I bought A Song in The Daylight when Paullina was at Border's signing, I got my copy of The Bronze Horseman signed but thought that I should also get a copy of the book that she was actually promoting. But unfortunately I only got half way and I just could not read anymore, the book started to effect the way I would react myself, in this case pretty depressed.

Therefore for me TBH is still the best in my eyes :)


message 32: by Linda (new)

Linda C | 30 comments I'm sure I've posted this on other pages, but, if you have time, take a look at Leon Uris "Trinity."

While the writing could be accused of being a bit dated, and perhaps overly critical of the British regime in Ireland, oh, the hero, Connor-- definitely my first love. If you love Jamie and Alexander, you will love Connor too.


message 33: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 183 comments I can't get into Trinity - it seemed that most of the book is set when they are kids? Does it get better if I persevere? I really struggled with the first quarter and then put it down.


message 34: by Kelly (new)

Kelly  | 637 comments Jessica wrote: "I can't get into Trinity - it seemed that most of the book is set when they are kids? Does it get better if I persevere? I really struggled with the first quarter and then put it down."

Me too Jessica, I started and didn't finish.


message 35: by Mishelle (last edited Dec 20, 2010 04:55PM) (new)

Mishelle LaBrash (mishalabrash) Kelly wrote: "Jessica wrote: "I can't get into Trinity - it seemed that most of the book is set when they are kids? Does it get better if I persevere? I really struggled with the first quarter and then put it do..."

Me Three... Does it get better... Cause now that I think on it.. I probably never would have gotten past the first 50 pages of Outlander if I haven't heard so much great things about it... So if it gets better I will pick it up again... And here is the real question.. Is there great sex scenes?? Lol


message 36: by Leea (new)

Leea | 317 comments I have trinity but if there's not steam... I can't read it;)


message 37: by Mishelle (new)

Mishelle LaBrash (mishalabrash) Me and you are very much alike Leea


message 38: by Leea (new)

Leea | 317 comments Yes we are :)


message 39: by Viola (new)

Viola | 58 comments I can read it if there isn't steam, but I certainly don't mind when there is steam. Good steam is an added bonus. :)


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