I liked Fingersmith, loved The Little Stranger, and hoped for a lot more from this book. Sarah Walters seems to have forgotten about plot, and written this novel with 3 goals in mind, goals which she does indeed acomplish: 1) Portraying daily life in WW2 London with surprising and interesting detail 2) Writing some gay storylines 3) Diving deeply into her characters lives... even into the most colorless aspects of their lives. If you end up loving these characters half as much as the author does, you will love this book despite it's lack of plot. I liked the characters, but I was bored a lot and wanted a plot. I also wanted insight into human nature, since I want that in all my reads (there was one scene where a character gets schooled regarding "the cinema"... but that was it) and I would have loved a thoughtful surprise like the ontological idea in The Little Stranger, but I didn't get those either.
This book was SO out there and weird - in a great, way. It's fresh, imaginative, surprising, playful... I'm loving your talent, Mr Croshaw!
Jam is not a typical example of the genre, but it's post-apocalyptic, and I love post-apocalyptic novels. But what I liked BEST... hm... probably the wild creativity. The idea of the Jam, itself, and the odd characters.
This has the dense Harlan Coban weave of relationships and plot lines that he's loved for, it's got the freshness of a female detective character, and there is also some material about youth today, technology, and of course love-angst. I really enjoyed it. I almost didn't get this audiobook because I found the audio sample to be of a rather "meh" moment in a bar. I'm glad I took the risk because it was really good! I don't agree that Harlan can't do women - he did great with her.
I enjoyed the protagonist's gloomy imperfection, his thought process, his worries, and the quirky details of his old-timey medical practice. I loved that one of the female characters is homely, and how her homeliness was experienced by the protagonist. However it was the mystery of the house.. the reason behind the bizarre goings-on that make this book outstanding. The author's inspired idea for this, and her unhurried reveal made me want to stand up and clap.
If you like backdrops of tough, old timey England, and you like strong female characters with pluck, then read this book. You'll get all that and more with Fingersmith. This story pulled me in like a bedtime story for grown-ups. I felt I was on an magical ride with the heroine, caring about her ups and downs, and wishing it all lasted longer.
Stephen King is a craftsman with a beautiful literary voice. His words flow casually and perfectly, and culminate in so many brilliant phrasings... it's like he's nonchalantly tossing pearls in the air! I have been talking about his skill with friends, and I have been told that IT is one of his best works. I recommend IT strongly, especially since the reader, Stephen Weber, is also outstanding. Weber has an impressive vocal range, and he has the instinct and talent of a performer.... bringing an energetic cadence to sentences that you know others would read flatly. I think listening to Weber read brought more to the novel than my own mind would have, had I read it myself.
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