4.5 stars. This was my first McEwan novel. I hadn’t realized until I was half way through it that he also wrote Atonement. Which I have not yet read but heard much about since the movie won tons of accolades. When I finished this book I shouted Brilliant and wanted to applaud. It’s definitely not for everyone and I can understand the varying ratings and reviews. It’s a very slow and methodical yet stunning story. You have to be patient with it.
I’m bad at short synopsis but basically Serena begins working at Mi5 in part because of a relationship she had with a married professor. While there she gets assigned an operation with codename Sweet Tooth. This is Mi5’s attempt to fund writers whose political views align with governments. She is tasked with hiring a particular writer she ultimately falls in love with. There are common themes here, for example the oft used girl meets boy under false circumstances, ends up falling in love, boy finds out, girl loses boy and ultimately girl gets boy back. However not the case here. Things don’t play out the way you would think.
No spoilers here but I also thought the item found while she was undercover as a cleaning lady was going to be more substantial than it ultimately was. Though I guess if it did it would become more of a spy novel than what it was intended to be.
I thought the short story writing she reads by Haley was pretty fascinating as well. I know people don’t usually like these sub stories especially when they have no direct impact to the overall book but I love them. They make such an impact for the couple pages they take up. The mannequin?!
The ending chapter was just brilliant though. You finish the book making all kinds of assumptions and having revelations.
I would definitely recommend.
I'm really, really trying to get into this book but I just can't. I'm pretty open minded when it come to books but what am I missing here that people are raving about ??
Just finished Life after Life and it redeemed itself for me right before the half way mark. 1/4 of the way into the book I just didn't get it (and all of the glowing reviews and high ratings) and was thinking about throwing in the towel. Then I read a reviewer on Goodreads who said it starts to make sense half way through so I said Ok I'm going to stick with it. Then we started to get into *spoiler alert * Nancy’s murder, Ursula’s rape, pregnancy and abusive marriage. It was just so emotionally charged and heavy I again thought about putting it down but I persevered. Then it slightly shifted downward for me with ALL of the bombing sequences. However as it was wrapping up it was just really good to see the evolution of situations or the back stories and outcomes. I think it was more than a solid effort by the author. Very thought provoking and discussion worthy.
3.5 stars. Awh, my high from book one in this series has come down. There was no mystery in this one. You knew the culprits from the beginning so it was more a revenge story but just ok not great at all. Looking at reviews from the country of origin this book stumbles but book three picks it all back up so I will definitely try when it's released in the states. It's not bad at all just a let down after reading the near flawless first book.
The book was just OK to me. There were no surprises at all. Actually isn't there a similar movie plot where a bank robbery of several safe deposit boxes really covers up the theft of one particular box that conatisn damagign documents or something? I wouldn't necessarily tell anyone they just HAD to read this.
B R A V O!! This book was GOOD till the very last word of the epilogue. Narrartor was perfect. I'm sad the next book changes.
Steig Larson has made a lot of us I think newly interested in Scandinavian/Nordic crime novels. I’ve read a few by Nesbo and others I can’t recall at the moment but this one definitely stands out. Our crime solving duo is an odd couple: Detective Carl Morck (“read” audio so spelling may be incorrect) intuitive detective but recently cynical after a shooting and apparent demotion. Then we have his elusive assistant Assad who curiously provides key insight into their case and another the primary department is working on. We follow their investigation into a cold case involving a missing political figure. This was one of the first times the who dun it reveal was really a surprise for me. I so enjoyed this book and especially the tenderness of the final scene. So well done.
The only part I thought was kind of odd is when they broke the lock and entered the room where ALL of the crime details were displayed. Padlock and all it just seemed not quite right that it would be that obvious or in plain sight.
I went into this book expecting a Jo Nesbo like read. There were some similarities but most notable was the lack of violence in this book. Not a bad thing just an observation.
The title of course is what first got my attention. Then the book drew me in pretty quick and I couldn't put it down. There were familiar themes and characters but the story lines crafted is what was most interesting. Just when you thought you had it figured out there was a new thread. The book seemed to go on and on unnecessarily but as each new thread was revealed you were again pulled in and intrigued .
I enjoyed the book a lot. I didn't love it but would recommend and I'd be interested in another from this author. I read that this is book 4 of 6, though the first translated in the states.
I have yet to really like any recording by Will Patton. His voice is so calm and monotonous that it puts you to sleep. Not here though! He was brilliant! I felt like I was really in the Bayou. The story was rich with dialogue, characters and settings. I was surprised though that I kind of lost interest during the last few chapters. First two thirds of book was much stronger.
This book is pretty brilliant! It's odd, funny and just downright fun to read. Would def recommend. But it's a light read don't take it too seriously. It was right on time for me. A nice change of pace.
The narrator couldn't have been more perfect for this book. I loved chapter seven when his honest emotions came through in such a raw moment. I obviously do not have first hand knowledge of the going ons in war but I would have to believe that this couldn't be far from actual accounts. It reminded me in part of the Katherine Bigelow movie that won the Oscar year before last.
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