I never thought that I would be so uninspired by one of Bryce's books! I felt that this book should have just stayed in the family circle where it would be more appreciated and read by the members of the family and then their Grandmother would come to life. The short little tales told in that interminable female Russian accent only got boring and I found myself fast forwarding and stifling a yawn. I am so disappointed as I had Bryce on a pedestal as a writer.
This is a GEM of a book! It talks non-judgmentally of human frailties yet expands on the unfathomable strength of the need to survive in most people. The injustices of war and the meaningless posturing of waring nations (or the people in charge) which only goes towards disruption, destruction and death. We should ask - and for what purpose? It tracks two people's lives during and after the invasion into Russia by Germany. Beautifully written with well informed comments about Art, sweet tender responses to the aging process and how the younger members react.A wonderful book which I did not want to end. The narrator was superb with just enough Russian inflection without it being overdone. I highly recommend this book!!
Personally, I found this novel talked to me as a woman in a past stage of my life. I am so glad that books like this are being written so that women can "come out of the darkest corner" and have the courage to point a finger at their abusers! the whole book was beautifully written with tenderness and never straying away from the sweet character of the main person, yet the OCB was well scripted into the story. The whole tale was gripping and held you right to the end with an unexpected twist. An excellent book, well recommended to both men and women.
I found this book patchy and at times very repetitive. The main character would slip in and out of her character. One minute being strong and the next excruciating weak and pliable. What ever anyone says, (without giving the plot away) I am sure a woman would know if she had given birth or not!! the author seemed to run out of ideas as to how to end it and it became a bit of a circus. Not very satisfying.
I found this novel totally for the late teens to early twenties. Those who are still exploring sexuality or are are new to the whole thing. I had to listen in slabs of half an hour or so as the shallowness really got to me. But seeing I paid for it I gritted my teath.
I quite enjoyed this book as it did not pretend to be anything other then it was. It is an old fashioned mystery novel, all prim and proper from a time when women knew their place in society but a few were testing their strength and will. It had snippets of the 2nd world war thrown in with an insight of how people coped with leading disjointed lives. I am glad I read it.
I enjoyed this book as it gave me a look at how a family dealt with tragedy. Although it was not perfectly done, the family grappled to come to terms with something that is unimaginable in one's own life. Loosing someone near and dear. I thought the author dealt with it in a kind and non judgemental way - telling how it is along with the fragility of the human spirit.
I really wanted to like this book after reading "Water for Elephants" which was also about a circus and a superb story which I enjoyed it immensely! However, "Mechanique" came across to me as a dark, disjointed story with the characters wandering around angry and waiting to 'do each other in'. I eventually had to stop listening as I got to frustrated and depressed with not knowing the characters and losing the plot as it was not clearly defined by the author. If you like dark depressing books, then this is for you.
Story was like a b grade action flick. It was awash with predictable role-playing, with blood an guts everywhere. It reminded me of a band of pumped up boys running around trying to one-up each other. The plot got more and more unbelievable. I just hung on to see if the garlic dust could stop the religious hot-heads from blowing up the world with a nuclear bomb!! Yes that far-fetched!!
Reading a book like this makes one think about how much time was squandered in those days! I fast forwarded the chapters from time to time and thought that I was still in the same spot!! I did not get a good feeling from listening to this book as it was all about matchmaking in the excruciatingly slow 19th century way. A few political sub-plots and money making scams thrown in for good measure. Women being used and abused or just treated as window dressing. Very uninspiring!
In short this book is about a rich man falling from grace and for very "trite" reasons too. Not a very endearing scenario, similar to the other book "The end of Normal". I did not identify with the characters, sentiment or the way it was handled. It was written in an aloof manner, The characters were only sketched not "drawn". I did not learn anything, except that the criminal system can be worked to your advantage, (which everyone knows anyway) Nothing educational or uplifting in this book.
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