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The Waiting Room
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Past Group Reads > The Waiting Room - SPOILER thread

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Ness (Violet74) | 209 comments Mod
I finished The Waiting Room last night :)

Ok, my own personal thoughts are that it was a great storyline, Cottam seems to have researched well and he knows the 20s era and often sets the historical parts of his books in this time. It was the interesting storyline that kept me going, but to be honest the narrative annoyed me in a lot of places.

It was as if he had been briefed that a good book has very likeable characters ... (which is not always true), and at every opportunity we're told how "good", "brave" and how very "good looking" practically everyone in the book is. It just seemed that he had to remind us of this in almost every page.

Dialogue is quite poor really and not Cottam's strong point. I couldn't imagine the words coming out of their mouths sometimes, it was a bit strained. Also, the relationship between Julian and Elena was very unbelievable and lacking in chemistry I guess. I mean she hated him at the beginning of the story and he was a bit of a player that wasn't interested in her either and then all of a sudden they're madly in love! ... but that's because we've been told this and not because we saw it coming in any way.

I think the narrative was best through Bruno Absolom's diary entries and it was these parts back in the past that I enjoyed the most. I actually looked up Gunther Keller to see if any alchemist existed of that name ... in another Cottam book many of the characters were true historical ones. Anyway google shows me that Gunther Keller is a male 70s porn star which made me laugh ... especially as he looks very much like a friend of mine lol .... anyway moving on!

Good storyline and it kept my interest up but I wished the Plague of the Dead bit had been omitted. It all got a bit silly towards the end, infact I hated the ending! .. and didn't quite get it either.

I think it's just me and Jo that's read it so far - but for anyone else aswell that later reads it, please share what you thought of the book and if you disagree/agree with my own feelings.

What did you think of the modern day characters? Could they have done with being a bit more dimensional? Do you prefer the protagonist to be perfectly nice as in Martin Stride? What did you think of Julian's relationship with Elena? ... and did the ending of the book leave you satisfied? Could the ending have been improved?

Really excited to hear Jo's and anyone else that reads it opinions :)


message 2: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo | 592 comments Mod
I agree with everything you've said. I got the ending, kind of but it didn't make sense really - he went back in time to save Patricks life? why not just go back to warn Absolom what will happen if he brings Patrick back from the dead, then return to the present time like the others did?
I thought the concept of 'we see ghosts because we've gone back in time' was ridiculous and yes, the relationship between Julian and Elena was laughable. He gets angry and rapes her but she still loves him because what? oh yes, he's sooo attractive. ffs.

I thought Patrick was quite creepy to start with but it got a bit confused, if he's not a ghost how did he appear and disappear?
Having said all that, I was still interested enough to sit and read the whole book in one afternoon. The actual storyline was interesting it just needs work on the characters and maybe to focus a bit more on the details, it was enjoyable if you just ignored that some of it didn't make much sense!


Ness (Violet74) | 209 comments Mod
Good point about not going back in time and just warning Absolom! That would have made much better sense.

Yes and considering how violated Elena felt after Creed had taken advantage of her whilst she was unconscious, where on earth did all the loving feelings suddenly materialise from?!

I did get really bored with constantly being told how strong, good looking the men were along with all the other physique descriptions .... also with how perfect and GOOD Martin and Monica Stride were and it was also laden heavy with how Elena had no life. He should have just let the tale tell itself.

I agree Patrick was a very creepy character but the plague of the dead idea just reminded me of old school zombie stories ... and put me off.

The ending seemed like he'd lost the plot a bit. I felt the same when I read House of Lost Souls (which I preferred) but again the ending went a bit mental there.

It's a shame because the story (up to the ending) was really good and it's a book that I'm left thinking about anyway. I'm still going to read his latest one Brodmaw Bay :)


message 4: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo | 592 comments Mod
Ness I like your reviews btw, hit the nail on the head :)


Ness (Violet74) | 209 comments Mod
Aw ta Jo :) I just hope I wasn't being too mean about this one. I did sort of like it. x


Sam (VanillaFountain) | 577 comments Mod
I am disappointed tbh... I agree with everything you ladies have said. If they took out the whole "rape" issue then I could've actually have seen them together. I didn't like that he called her an idiot in the waiting room that was a bit out character for the time where he had supposedly "changed".

I didn't get the ending, how did Julian get back? why did he bother to come back?? Also why didn't Elena go with him when he went to join the army to save Patrick's life? I'm sure she could've found work close to him while he was "fulfilling his destiny"

I found the characters quite hollow and couldn't Imagine anything except the waiting room. I didn't even see people or anything til half way through. I think the first half and the Epilogue fail! lol


Ness (Violet74) | 209 comments Mod
You're right Sam that the ending was stretching the imagination a bit TOO far! I would have preferred a more open ending, and the changing eras waiting room bit at the end annoyed me.

A lot of potential for a very good story was screwed with a few bad ideas a long the way.

Like you, I felt it difficult with this one to picture the characters. I'd worked out in my head what Julian looked like and then quite a way into the book, I was told he had long hair like a mane ... had to re-work it all in my head then! Hate it when a writer does that. Visual descriptions should be sorted in the beginning :)


message 8: by Sam (VanillaFountain) (last edited Mar 04, 2012 12:06PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sam (VanillaFountain) | 577 comments Mod
I must have missed that bit Ness, unless my mind just chose to ignore it, for the second half I pictured Julian with shortish hair. Martin had long hair though didn't he? :)


Ness (Violet74) | 209 comments Mod
Yep apparently they both had long shoulder length hair. x


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