It should have been a woman
I a huge fan of romance, but I love time travel and history. Put them all together and I am sold.
Alright, so I finished this book and went: "Huh?"
First, what I liked about it. Helprin is a master of metaphors. The writing is beautiful and poetic. For the first 1/3 of the book, I was sold! I loved Peter Lake's story of how he grew up and eventually found himself on the run from Pearly and the Short tails. I enjoyed his meeting and loving Beverly despite her tragic, inevitable future. Also, I will always remember the white horse. Almost every scene written containing horse was a riveting one.
It was about 1/3 of the way into the book, when this storyline winds down and we meet a whole new cast of characters. Some held my interest but many did not. The author has a way of completely digressing from the main story arc. This happened so many times and I kept finding myself thinking, "why did I have to know all that to progress the plot?"
Don't get me wrong, some digression can be excellent in a book to help us understand the characters and why they make certain choices.
In this book's case, the entire novel could have been cut in half and I think I would have enjoyed it more. So much of it was not necessary and should be trimmed right out!
Also, there were many points where I just didn't know what was going on. Many of the characters had magical discussions about life and death and that's alright. But the many of the speeches became a sort of monotonous ranting. Like, the discussions about time being now and then and the future all at the same time and the journey to discover a "Just City". What exactly is a "Just City"? Helprin never tells us. Unless I missed some huge message written between the lines.
I love fantasy stories where anything is possible. In fact, I belong to a book club focused entirely on time travel, but I was not entranced by the long winded and tedious, extravagant speeches in this book.
The ending. Hmmmmm. I have always been a hard sell when it comes to endings. I may have rated the book a lot higher if I was satisfied with the ending. Maybe I didn't understand it and I will refrain from saying more on the risk of spoilers.
There are wonderful times when an ending to a story may leave the reader to ponder intricate meanings or possibilities, however, I was left with too many questions at the end of this book. Way too many.
This book was compact and sweet (not in the sugary sense!). Tied up most of the loose ends nicely in the end and a bit predictable. I did think it was creepy and thought provoking. If I could spend one more week with a beloved who has passed on, would I?
I might have rated the book higher but I only finished the book yesterday and I have already mentally stored it in the file of forgotten books.
So exciting, freaky and deliciously disturbing! I seriously was rude to my family for several days because I could not take the buds out of my hears.
This novel consists of real, raw characters with flaws as well as a supernatural spin. Charlie Manx is an excellent villain who truly believes in his cause. Vic Mcqueen is damaged and vulnerable yet strong and completely relatable. Honorable mention to Lou, whom I couldn't get enough of.
This book is about parenting, addiction, internal monsters and self worth.
Highly recommend the story in audio. Kate Mulgrew reading this book has made my top 10 list of unforgettable narrated experiences. Bravo!
I will warn Dracula fans to not be fooled by the title, as this is not your traditional vampire novel. Hardly!
Well, I listened to this book and it was only a bit over six hours long. Just as well. Nothing happened. I was about 3 hours in when I realized that the story was not going to be about anything, just a look inside the mind of a completely wasted, paranoid drug addict!
Now, this does not mean that I hated it! On the contrary, I laughed out loud in many spots! I found the digressive monologues involving what could happen if Raoul Duke is actually apprehended by the police to be very funny - crazy paranoid - but with enough truth to understand the grounds for his insane paranoia!
I did not know much about Hunter S. Thompson before reading this and had only passively heard of Gonzo Journalism. But now I am interested.
I also watched the movie with my husband after finishing the book. (one of my favorite things to do in the world!) I must say that I think it was done superbly! So spot on with the book! The dialogue between Mr. Duke and his attorney was taken directly from the book as well as many of the descriptive acid trippy scenes.
Fear and Loathing is not for everyone. I liked it enough and found Raoul Duke and his attorney's journey to discover their American dream in 1971 amusing. It certainly has me thinking about how I envision my American dream in 2014.
Another easy 5 stars!! I have read a few this year! What a story (or stories)! I only wish the book was longer, it was relatively short. I would read this entire book again from the point of view of a different Greta, I liked it so much.
Greta sees (and lives) her life in 3 different time periods. 1918, 1941 and 1985. We follow the Greta from 1985. It goes like this: The three Gretas all begin electro-shock therapy for depression when they are 31 years old then proceed to jump between each other's lives. There is a version of all the main players in each life. Each life has positive and negative circumstances that influence the personality and behaviors of all the players, even Greta herself. This was a thought provoking way to have the reader think about nature vs nurture. Would I be the same if I grew up right at the turn of the 20th century? My values and ideals? But, I'm still me, right?
I pondered how the book would end. How can this possibly be wrapped up to satisfy a reader like myself?! Maybe I am the only one, but I did not predict the ending. I am, however, VERY satisfied with the ending and the entire novel. This one will be remembered.
I would have LOVED this book as a teen! I say that often with the young adult novels I read these days. I feel like there was not such emphasis on this genre when these books would have been appropriate for me!
Anyway, the time travel element is what drew me to the book, along with a beautiful add of a woman in a red gown I came across in an issue of Bookpages.
This was a quick read, but I am certain I will read the whole series to see what happens. It had just enough time travel rules and paradoxes to satisfy my whims as well as excellent tension build up with our heroine, Gwyn trying to determine who she can trust.
Frankly, the epilogue and prologue are what sealed the deal for me! You will just have to read to see what I mean!
What fun I had with this book! Having re-read The Shining recently, I was fresh and in tune with all of the references. Danny turned out realistically, and satisfyingly how I may have imagined him.
There were some plot lines that turned out a bit anti-climactic, but that does not surprise me with Stephen King. I swear I almost never remember how the evil is erased in any of his books! Like, the details, I mean. The climax never makes much impression on me. However, I can't think of a King book that did not take me for a wild ride and keep me captivated while the characters work things out!!!! This book was no exception and embracing Danny came very easily for me, as The Shining was one of my first SK novels and it holds a very dear place in my minds bookshelf.
I liked it. Nothing about it really moved me but, there were a few boring parts paired with a few exciting parts. Not sure why it seems to have such high ratings by most people.
I enjoyed the old lawyer the most and his quest for excitement, although he was just a side character. I also liked the dog, but was distracted by the weirdness of having such a human-like sentient dog around all the time. I think most people would be very embarrassed if their pets could communicate all the embarrassing things one does when home alone....
This is the kind of story that I love. The characters were all very three dimensional and real. There was a a bit of supernatural in a very natural world and an intriguing amount of mystery. I highly recommend.
I have never seen any of The Godfather movies.
Actually 4.5 stars, I wish we could half stars, but I decided to round it up instead of down.
I think I read this book right at the right time. I had many favorite characters. Michael stands out the most. I truly enjoyed the scene that was ultimately the catalyst for his transformation. Then following him through his change.
I liked hearing about Johnny Fontaine and the Hollywood life of the 1940s. It also blows my mind that everyone seems to beat their wife and this is acceptable by EVERYONE!! Seriously.
Now to the Don. He was so smooth and I had complete confidence in him. Despite the terrible things he did in his life to take the law into his own hands, the short part in the novel where his early life was described was my favorite part of the whole book, I think. The explanations for his actions and how he became a man of such morals and values was plausible and therefore very interesting for a patriotic, law abiding citizen like myself!
I will watch the movie asap. Can't wait!
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