I really enjoy the “alphabet series”; the books are a guaranteed hit for me every time. I love Sue Grafton’s writing style; her dry wit and sarcasm are great! but I am not so sure the short-story format is the best for murder mysteries. It felt like Kinsey was solving a new murder everyday … it was too fast, too quick, too unrealistic (yes I know its fiction).
As for the “Me” section, it didn't do much for me. No disrespect intended because I know these are very personal stories for Sue – but they didn't hold my interest.
I can’t wait for “W” to come out!
A more appropriate title would have been: The Claire and Jamie Show.
There was SO MUCH pointless filler in this book that I think only bona fide C&J fans could truly love and appreciate it. I thought it was just OK.
I like Gabaldon's writing, I enjoy the sly humour, and she certainly has a gift for weaving tales… but there was WAY WAY WAY too much “stuffing” and not enough “meat” in this book. The countless frivolous tangents didn’t move the book along no matter how interesting they may have been. It was like reading a billion short stories.
In my opinion, it was about half way through book before the story really started moving: Brianna going back to find her parents, followed by Roger trying to find Brianna. That was interesting; although I have to say that I didn’t buy the angst Roger felt over the baby; that part of the plot was tedious.
I feel like I have spent enough time with Claire and Jamie this year, however I do want to finish the series; it’s a mission at this point! but book 5 is so amazingly long that I am turned off – it’ll be a while before I dig back in.
Not much to say. I enjoyed it; an original take on a possible future.
I’m not sure if the existence of clones feels as threatening now-a-days as it might have felt back when the book was written in the 70s, so perhaps it was more of a pager-turner then... nevertheless, I thought it was interesting.
Great story! It was an intriguing mystery but most of all I liked the way it was told – in 3 perspectives. Very original.
Beatrice’s sister Tess is missing, and we later find out she is dead. As a way to come to terms with Tess’ death, Beatrice decides to write a letter to Tess explaining what happened to her.
So there is the perspective of the research into Tess’ disappearance and death investigation as it unfolds.
At the same time, there is the perspective of Beatrice’s retelling of the events to the police, giving her statement to the investigator in the past tense, interwoven with and looking back on the real-time narrative of the ongoing investigation.
Then, the perspective of where she is as she is recalling all of this, looking back on the “statement giving” that’s looking back on the “death investigation”.
I thought it was all very clever; however I can see that if you are not paying attention it could get a little confusing!
‘The House I Loved’ by Tatiana de Rosnay is another book written as a letter to someone, but I found that one slow moving and a little boring. I was leery when I realized this book was in the same format, but even though it was similar in the way that there was a lot of personal reflections and recalling memories and looking back, this book was far more interesting because a mystery was slowly unravelling, bit by bit new information was emerging about the investigation and that made it more compelling. This being said, after a while it was just one cliff-hanger too many!
I thought I saw the ending coming a mile away… Ok, here comes a little spoiler so stop reading if you don’t want to know.
When he said his bike was stolen and all that was left was the chain! And then he suggested a walk in the park… pul-leeeeeeze! So obvious! “you’ll die where your sister died” ugh! gimme a break! But then there was the revelation that it was in this state (drugged and fading) that she “wrote the letter to her sister” and that this is what she meant when she said her body was deteriorating. Great Twist!
Elizabeth Street reminded me a lot of The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani however I enjoyed Elizabeth Street so much more!
Both stories follow Italian immigrants as they settle down in New York in the early 1900s, and if you’ve read them both then perhaps you’ll agree with me:
The Shoemaker's Wife just floated along, nothing really happened and no particular events or story lines really stood out. Overall to me, the story was not that memorable.
In comparison Elizabeth Street was really absorbing. Things happened in this book! The plot was intriguing, the people were interesting, the story was suspenseful, there was action, drama, intrigue … really, no contest between the two books. Elizabeth Street wins hands down. I liked it very much, it was a great read!
I thought the mystery was great fun! It had me hooked early on and I was just as curious as the main characters – they really brought me along on their preposterous adventure; I didn’t want to put it down.
The story was little Scooby-doo-ish: a home grown team of sleuths investigating a multitude of strange happenings around them, a suspicious “The Creepy Caretaker”, the discovery of something HUGE... is it paranormal? Or an elaborate trick? you know how it goes.
I think the author’s references to Scooby Doo throughout the story was a little wink to the reader but I saw it as irreverent fun, it wasn’t irritating.
Stop reading now if you don’t want a spoiler.
I didn’t care for the last part: falling into an apocalyptic world of scary beings. Running away from the strange creatures. Trying to avoid becoming lunch for aliens... I could have done without all of that – it was too long and frankly not that interesting. Not sure what kind of action-climax I would have preferred, but this one missed the mark for me.
This was a lot of information to absorb all at once.
I am interested in the subject, and have a “high level” understanding of the main points, but I wanted to learn about the Reformation in more detail. With a zillion book options to choose from, I picked this one because it was short.
I learned a lot – like just how much Switzerland was involved – but a lot of it went “in one ear and out the other” because I felt saturated with facts.
I want to read it again, but in short batches. A few paragraphs at a time so that the information sinks in properly!
What a huge disappointment! I really missed out. It’s not the book – it’s 100% me.
This is the 3rd Edward Rutherford novel I’ve read and it certainly won’t be the last. He’s a great story teller and I love the concept of his books however PARIS tapped into my biggest book problem: I can’t keep track of that many characters! And unlike the other 2 novels I read: Sarum and New York, because the story is not told in chronological order it just made it impossible for me.
When the time line stayed put I was captivated but after jumping around to different eras, I had already forgotten who was who and what was going on by the time it would come back to the first one. What era was Mary in again? And Max? No clue. Which Monsieur Blanchard was 1600s and which one was 1900s? Search me! I was completely lost and the fact that families keep the same names over the generations was the final nail in coffin.
Reading about The City Of Paris however was terrific. Who doesn’t love Paris? Not only did it bring back lovely vacation memories, but also of other books I’ve read set in Paris:
The story line set in the 1880s regarding the building of the Eiffel Tower and 1889 World Fair reminded me of this book that I highly recommend: Eiffel's Tower: And the World's Fair Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count by Jill Jonnes.
The story line of a young girl working for the Dauphine in Versailles recalled parts of: Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran and The Sun King: Louis Fourteenth at Versailles by Nancy Mitford
The Paris of Hemmingway in the 20s reminded me of: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
All very interesting.
I hope his future publications go back to epics told in chronological order!!! If I had known how much this would have ruined it for me, I would have chopped it up myself and reorganized it chronologically!!
The next Rutherford book I plan to read is London – looking forward to it whenever it becomes available in Audible.
Overall I loved it: The entire Trilogy. I just couldn’t get enough of Mary trying to explain (justify) our society to Ponter, I thought that it brought up so many different and interesting issues: Religion, Crime and Punishment, The Right to Choose, Environment, Relationships, Science and Technology etc … I found it endlessly interesting!
Having said that, I didn’t like the Jock storyline and I won’t say more about it because I don’t want to spoil it for those who have not read it yet. The book seemed to morph (degenerate) from a really thought-provoking story to Bruce-Willis-Action; I was more annoyed than on the edge of my seat.
Still, it didn’t ruin it for me at all. If ever there is a Book 4 someday – I am in!
Great book, LOVE the story, but I disagree that it can stand alone – I think the 3 books should be read together.
I'm currently reading book 3 and I’ll post my review there after finishing it.
Such an interesting idea! Two parallel universes, one in which Neanderthals became extinct and Humans became the dominant species on Earth (our reality), and then the opposite - a universe in which Humans became extinct and Neanderthals became the dominant intelligent species.
Who cares how one person crossed into the other Universe; it was just fun to read about his adventures on "The Other Side". I was fascinated by the Neanderthal's Society: their advanced technologies, relationships, culture, laws, philosophies, and ways of life etc - so interesting! I bet the author had fun making it all up too.
My only real complaint is with Mary, and the events that happened to her in the beginning of the book. I don't want to give too much away, but I think it was unnecessary to make her live through what she did in order to establish that she was emotionally cautious and reluctant to start a new relationship. I think a bad break-up in her past might have achieved the same end. As it is, I thought it was exaggerated and really kind of dumb.
I am definitely in for the sequels!
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