I read and enjoyed the first four Harry Potter books, so I had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately, I made it about a third of the way through and simply could not bare another word. The story seemed to be going nowhere at a snails pace with entirely too much (often overly graphic) detail. It was difficult to follow and there wasn't a single character I could latch on to or identify with. I read a great deal and have rarely ever left a book unfinished, but this one was the exception.
This style of writing and storyline may be for some, but definitely not for me...I was extremely disappointed.
I went into this book with the mindset that J.K. Rowling can do no wrong and unfortunately I was disappointed. The story just never seemed to pick up and the narration was hard to listen to.
Avid fiction listener from Australia who not ashamed to have a biased for what some may call 'chicklit'. Keen for new author suggestions
This book is absolute proof that Rowland is one of the best storytellers of our time. great characters, intrigue, a gripping conclusion and some tough moments made this one of the best reads I've had this year. Just buy it.
Great book, really enjoyable and sad. Good portrayal of teenage minds and small town living.
Rowling's first book for adults paints nuanced and elegant portraits of a panoply of characters, shedding light on the ugly and untold corners of the human mind, while invoking a universal empathy for even the most seemingly unpleasant characters. Her uncanny ability to capture the angst and anguish of teenagers is most memorable--she flexes her Harry Potter muscles in this way, but with more freedom to explore body images issues, sexual awakenings, and adolescent self-loathing.
The whole thing feels at times Dickensian--with small-town intimacy, Rowling's distinctly-drawn characters meet their daily lives and disappointments. The death of one man on the parish council sends ripples that amplify throughout the community. But it also resembles a classic Greek tragedy, as our unexpected heroes and loathsome villains crawl forward on an unbreakable, pre-determined path, bound by destiny, unable to wiggle free from the constraints of race, class, and social status.
It's not an uplifting book, but it's fine storytelling, and Rowling's picture of an English town and its immensely complex inhabitants is a hard one to put down. Perhaps because Rowling's attempt to unearth the shame they all carry deep within is so poignant and easy to identify with. Tom Hollander's performance is lovely. Overall, magical in its own way.
As a huge fan of J.K Rowling’s writing from the Harry Potter books, I must say I was a little bit disappointed in this book.
I knew it would be very different than the HP books, but I was struggling to find the J.K. Rowling I know and love in this.
I may have to read/listen a second time to get a more full comprehension, but upon first reading I was really confused. The gallery of characters in this story is huge and it took me a long time to figure out who was who, who was related and friends with whom. So many characters and storylines to keep up with and sort out.
When I finally managed to get a good overview of the characters and their relation to each other, I am (upon first reading/listen) confused about what I am supposed to take away from this story.
Which confuses me even more because I usually really enjoy stories like this in film form.
I usually enjoy movies where nothing much really happens, but we see the characters face something and develop and their relationships.
But with this one, I am really unsure of what the “message” is supposed to be, what are we supposed to feel after reading this?...
Is it that everyone has secrets? Is it that even a tragic event like a small child dying and his sister’s subsequent suicide does not change people’s opinions and outlooks on the world?
I am just not sure…
Tom Hollander did a very good job on this though. I know him from other roles and really enjoy him as an actor and narrator. He did a very good job of differentiating between characters using his voice and accents. Well done Tom.
Being a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, I was very excited to read this book. From the start I was not impressed, but I wanted to finish it since I did have an interest in the characters and seeing what happened to them. The story was somewhat boring and the ending was also a disappointment. I really thought it would be a lot better.
If J K Rowling had deleted this book before publishing it.
Why would anyone write or read this book? This one is only for someone who is so irrepressibly happy and cheerful they can't stand themselves. This book will bring you down. There is no redeeming social value in a story that causes so much sorrow.
The story is a real downer. That said it's very well written with a complex cast of characters. Because of the subject matter I would not have read the book because it's so negative. Good thing for Audible and a couple of long auto trips I managed to get through it. Glad I did because the ending is both tragic and revealing.