This is one of the all-time bad books. The story line is preposterous,,written in the breathless mode of "the Hardy Boys". And ,of course, there is AMNESIA, that disorder beloved of hack writers of pulp fiction. This book is so stupefyingly awful that it scarcely merits a review. In the innermost circle of Dante's hell ,there resides the most terrifying punishment of all, having to read Dan Brown for all eternity!
Somerset Maugham was once asked what advice he had for would-be writers. He answered.."don't". Pity Rahman didn't heed this advice
The modern novelist confuses length with value. The last few books I have read or listened to could have been reduced by half and lose nothing. This book is typical of this modern curse. Pages go by with pointless recitative. When the "aria" finally arrives it's not very profound or interesting.The critics who gushed about this book are like abstract art critics: Some key figure gives the nod of approval and they fall into line.
The "story" could be told in a few pages;the rest of this book is self-indulgent drivel.To imagine that whatever pops into the writer's head will be of great interest to the reader is a form of literary narcissism. The book is largely boring and pointless. The few digressions into Godel's logic theory or credit default swaps could have been lifted from Wikipedia.
My advice to the would be writer....Keep it brief and read Martin Amis
Endless dialogue,unpleasant unlikable characters.Thin plot and by the end I found myself fast-forwarding to get to an end that I really didn't care about
There should be a limit!! This book (and also The Luminaries) are so long and tortuous as to be unbearable. After an hour of listening I am still perplexed as to the storyline. Perhaps its just me (or perhaps the difference between reading and listening) but these two books tax my patience. Both books could be cut in half and lose nothing (and maybe find the reader!). I can understand War and Peace being a lengthy read but these young modern writers make me want to scream outloud..."get on with the g.....nm story"! Life is just too short
I tried! The characters are cardboard stick figures and utterly unsympathetic. The author is in love with her own cleverness and is too busy constructing a "Rashomon" type narrative. Stories can be interesting when viewed from different perspectives but twelve perspectives are too many. I just got bored and didn't care enough about the characters to stick it out. Another disappointing Booker Prize read
The portion of the book actually dealing with the Great Flu could be squeezed into 20 pages. If I had wanted a history of turn-of -the-century American medicine this book would have been of some interest. But that was not why I bought it, so, very disappointing
Thin story line with numerous irritating segues into self-spelunking and moronic philosophizing and remembrances. Finally, a little action but wait...ten pages of reflection and trips down memory lane . By the time we return to the action, I really don't give a hoot. The main character is probably the most annoying fellow I have encountered in some time. One wishes he would just die gracefully and spare us yet another paean to his departed dog
Furst is a good writer, especially in this genre.He knows how to create a mood; I can almost feel the cigarette butts crunching underfoot on a dank Parisian street. The plot was a little thin but good writing overcomes that deficiency
This book brought me back to childhood when characters like Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys were my heroes. Harry is "plucky"and thoroughly likeable; Hugo is"evil" and utterly detestable. All the characters in this wretched story are plastic,unidimensional and so stereotypical as to be laughable, the "plot", so predictable that it could have been computer generated....Hmmm,
Literary pretensions, endless internal dialogue, does not make for easy listening. If you want to be Joyce or Faulkner then please inform us up front. But, if you are going to tell a story, then this endless, boring,ridiculous, psychologizing,self-spelunking internal discourse is just plain annoying. This would have made an excellent story at one- third its length.
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