The Reader, Mr. Dean was Good. I would not buy another book by Matheson.
Character development. See Below in comments.
Prepared, Good Voice.
Chris Neilson and Anne Neilson.
This review does not discuss nor make an evaluation of the concepts of life after death as discussed by the author. This review is directed to the character and plot development of the book. Some of the other reviews I have read have indicated that Mr. Matheson is a writer and may have written in a genre categorized as horror stories. I find that hard to believe if this book is a guide.
A significant necessity of a good book is for the reader to be able to have some identification or connection with at least one of the main characters. There was none here. We start from the beginning that Mr. Neilson loved his wife dearly. What really comes across is an obsession, not love. It is very syrupy and asks that you not question whether this is really a loving relationship.
Neilson is very closed minded, as is his wife Anne. After his death, he refuses to accept the fact that he has died, ostensibly because he loves his wife. He refuses to accept his death in the face of overwhelming evidence. He gets very angry at everyone, and very quickly so when they cannot see or feel his presence. Neilson is stubborn and obstinate. “I am right and the world is wrong” appears to be his motto.
Neilson’s wife is not much better, exhibiting similar traits. She refuses to even consider Neilson’s presence when others, including her son Richard (and Percy, the seer), do feel his father’s presence. She has her opinions. There is no afterlife is her belief. As the saying goes, “Don’t bother me with the facts. I have my opinions.” In essence, I found Neilson and his wife to be very unpleasant personalities.
I found this book to be similar to another book entitled “Patriots.” In that book, the author attempted to teach the proper use of weapons and firearms in a survival situation, or post apocalyptic environment. A laudable goal if someone does not want to sit and read dry manuals or dry do it yourself books. However, the characters in that book were so dislikable (and dumb) that it made reading the book very difficult. I ended up putting down the book about a quarter of the way through.
This book suffers from the same infirmity. Again, it is laudable that the author wants to develop his perspective of life after death and may even come to with a foundation which involved having thoroughly researched this area. That is highly commendable. However, the presentation of the characters, and the requirement that we believe that theirs was “loving relationship” despite the conduct of these characters, made this book difficult to read. I made it through the first four chapters before putting it down.
The book was a huge disappointment, not for the concepts of an after life. It was a disappointment due to the development and presentation of the personalities, and their conduct.
I found this book to be exceptional, extraordinary. I became interested in the Mayan prophecy after viewing the History Channel’s “ Decoding The Past: Doomsday 2012: The End of Days.”
The book is comprehensive and argues its point well. I was enthralled by the book, and disappointed when it came to an end. This is truly the sign of a good book, particularly one nearly ten hours in length.
The author was skeptical of the Mayan prophecy and set out to show that it was bunk. He ended up being converted and becoming a believer in the prophecy. The author is from Brooklyn, a New York City type, which was a minus for me. Yet he did a masterful job of weaving personal observations and science to both make his point and keep his presentation interesting.
This book impacted me in demonstrating how vulnerable we are. We live day to day, usually not giving any thought of the bigger picture of our universe, comfortable in the security provided by society. This book helps one understand how powerful the forces of the universe are, and how defenseless we are against those forces. It that sense, it is humbling.
The only disappointment I felt was in the conclusion. The author made such a powerful presentation in his book that his attempt to offer hope felt a bit flat.
I was not going to write a review of the book, but I felt the criticisms of the book were unfair and inaccurate. About me, I have a phd level education (I am a lawyer), so I think I have some ability to make an evaluation.
Purchase the book. It is an excellent read if you are interested in the subject matter. The reader likewise does an excellent job.
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