I guess I went into this expecting to be blown away (Neil Gaimon clearly adores it, after all), but it was rather underwhelming. The protagonist's utter mastery of the sword after what appears to be only a few weeks worth of lessons was odd to say the least, and some other characters seemed rather underdeveloped, particularly as relates to a love-story subplot that just seemed to be based on convenience and proximity of the lovers rather than true passion. It all felt pretty 'meh'.
It was predictable in some places (saw the ending coming a mile away) and dull in others (Ira and Ruth at times omgosh), but it was heartwarming and definitely drove me to tears near the ending (predictable as I said, but poignant).
This collection of short stories really stands the test of time. While some of the dialogue is so dated as to be nearly unintelligible to modern ears ("cut up rough"?), you always get the gist and much of the story stands the test of time quite well. In addition, the narration itself was incredible.
that I managed to finish this book. I couldn't believe it was finally over. I thought it would never end. It went on .. and on ... and ON ... with very little plot to boast of, and characterization alternatingly overly subtle, then hit-you-over-the-head-with-a-hammer. This book was a chore, and one I'm glad is done.
Based on the other reviews, I was really expecting more from this book ... as in, a likeable (or even vaguely relatable) protagonist. Instead I spent hours with a snarky, obstinate, rude, nonsensical lead character who spewed vitriol at the well-intentioned characters trying to help her. I ended up rooting for the bad guy in the book, simply because he didn't like her, either.
I was looking forward to an engaging rendition of the story, but the narration was AWFUL. The narrator spoke quickly, but extremely softly, as if she were trying to hurry through the narration as quickly as possible without waking someone sleeping in the other room. Raising the volume didn't help because she would occasionally punctuate with a loud word - this was not a good rendition. I clearly see why it is the least expensive one on here.
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