Brilliant and moody, it skillfully blends past and present, history and fiction to the point that the edges blur. The narrator's weary, plaintive reading perfectly reflects the characters portrayed. Excellent!
Although Cook did a lot of research and included vast amounts of little known medical info, his character development was very poor. The cast of hoodlums would have been better used in a comedy routine. His lame use of just about every mafia stereotype known to man became old and bordered on ethnic insult.
The book has a potentially good plot. However, I feel that the storyline was not well developed. It seemed as if I were sailing through a medical text with a little bit of fiction thrown in here and there. The epilogue managed to tie the loose threads together, but failed to weave a good book.
This is definitely RC's worst book to date.
Enough cannot be said about the quality of the writing and narration. Those points alone would make this a must read. But, the insight into people, places, life, and spirituality make this a book that will stay with you and change your life forever. I can't wait for the sequel. I just hope it is 143 hours long.
I love a good historical novel, but this book is like the worst, most boring history lesson you ever had to endure. It throws dates, names, and events at you in a rushed, often disorganized manner, and devotes little to the character of the people it tells of. If you like to read facts and dates, you will probably like this one. But, if you want to feel history come alive, pass this one up.
If rumors are true, this could well be King's last novel. And he pulled the ultimate surprise on his readers. As expressed in this book, a finished story with all the loose ends tied up neatly makes people happy. An unsolved mystery, though, leaves people unsettled and craving. This book is an example of the premise of its storyline. Read it, grouse about it, but then notice how your mind keeps worrying it and turning it over and over and over....
If you want one of those nice neat packages, this book isn't for you. But, if you want a REAL mystery (ala King style) grab this one.
This book is all about gratuitous gore and grossness. That there are actually people who enjoy this type of trash encourages me to triple lock my doors. If you want a good read, pass this one up.
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