JOHANNESBURG, South Africa | Member Since 2012
Something about the contrasts in du Maurier's novels appeals to me. This book is a thriller - without the overstated, exagerrated, intense, pacey dramatics and climaxes of modern writing. In Rebecca the characters develop, they take shape, they mature, they are believable and rounded. At the same time the plot develops through innuendo, implication and suggestion. Just wonderful! One can imagine these people and these events in one's own backyard. The writing style is beautiful - refreshingly cliche free - limited to the 'essential'. Every sentence has a purpose, every paragraph conveys meaning. I think this is why Daphne du Maurier is so worthwhile. There's Rebecca, The Scapegoat - equally brilliant!.
There is something captivating about this book. It is long, layered and somehow complex. Although I finished it, I have it noted for a definite round 2. I feel I missed a lot. I wasn't as focused and attentive as I should have been. This book deserved more than I gave it. The Kinsey subject material is compelling, the interaction of researchers and participants is interesting. It is not a 'light' listen. Be ready to study this book....
I enjoyed this. Always good to read about the poor, the grubby, the disadvantaged, the unfortunate who rise above their sad stations, their desperate circumstances and finally enjoy the good life. It was particularly good that our hero escaped sleeping with the cockroaches - and the fact that he enriched himself by taking out his benefactor seemed perfectly all right. One had to wonder whether he was a better person as the disadvantaged groveler or the opportunistic advantaged.....
This was the highly recommended book... When I did my research I decided to start with Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, which maybe spoilt this experience for me. There is a fair amount of repetition which is not really a problem. What didn't work for me was a narrator who sounded about a hundred years old - and whose pregnant pauses made me think that my iPad had run out of battery. I drifted off to sleep whilst listening - and did not feel too inclined to rewind. It got better as I got into it - but combining events with characterization in The Dogs worked better for me than the focus on Mum who became annoying as she drifted in and out of functionality. Maybe this was a therapeutic experience for Alexandra Fuller - for me it was tedious putting up with a 'spoilt' self indulgent woman who deserved more empathy in the Dogs than in this book which was too much about her - and too little about how she weighed down the family members who incomprehensibly seemed to stand by and put up with her.
This book was not for me. I persisted with it because of the person who had recommended it in the first place. I found it tedious, boring, repetitive. The characters were cardboard, one dimensional and uninteresting. I related to and connected with none of them. I couldn't have cared less about their plight in the smelly house, their injuries, the danger they were in or the fact that they may never be rescued. In fact I hoped their misery would end sooner rather than later so that I would be spared more hours of listening to the whinging and whining. Why did I persist when there are so many books out there to enjoy?I guess in that sick way I experienced the pain of the characters
What a great story teller - and what fabulous insight and perspective into the liberation (really) of Rhodesia. What stands out for me is how the loan for the farm simply changed names in the bond holders books. The struggling farmers remained struggling farmers. I think this book has clairvoyant significance for South Africans - as we see our rich and powerful leaders getting richer greedier and more powerful whilst the informal settlements squalor and desperation of the ordinary people grows exponentially. And yet it is the poorest who enable the corruption - leaving the ordinary person no option but to flee. Perhaps why there are millions of Zimbabweans in SA. Where to from here Ms Fuller?
Authentic characters with depth and a story that reveals the fatal attractions that people experience. The added dimensions of connections with animals enrich the read. Makes one question why good is apparently so boring and bad so appealing. The patterns within patterns and repeated patterns speak to the inevitability of the human condition
I persisted, I hoped, I was disappointed. I'm amazed that so little in the way of a story could have stretched into so many HOURS of words. Maybe that was the point - to show the helpless hopelessness of people influenced by power hungry governments. If so this book succeeded. I'm not sure that I needed to devote such a large chunk of my life to this slow, tedious, journey to death, death and more death. My single laugh was when our heroine was asked how many men she had slept with before marrying Otto....83 she said. Why so many she was asked. Because that is all there were........
As for the performance, the narration was good. However, when we are doing Berlin, Germany, the war shouldn't we be doing German accents rather than dreary English ones. The fact that we have German accented and German names kind of jars with the flat English rendition.
This book will not make it onto the list of re-reads before I die. Never again Thanks
I enjoyed this book. It is 'light', yet offers some up to the minute and interesting themes. i liked Catherine as the product of a desirable donor, the concept of a calculating, cold, unemotional mother unable to 'bond' with her offspring and the rather mechanical, intelligent characterisation. The great IT expertise and fantastic hacking ability of our heroine was quite believeable. Even the weakness of the witness protection scheme was credible. I was surprised that I enjoyed this book. I found Survivor in Death by Nora Roberts going as JB Robb over the top. I imagined that this would be equally unbearable. However, it was OK with a 'lived happily ever after' ending. Sweet.
It seems impossible that an author could make one believe that a 'doppelganger' could so easily assume the role of another. How does an imposter play the role of father, brother and son, sign papers and so quickly 'know' the detail and history of a whole family? Ask du Maurier... This book could be viewed as bordering on science fiction. But no...the writing skill of this accomplished author makes the whole absurd situation quite believable. The work of a true master spoils the reader - makes one wish she was still alive and writing - to spare one from the modern cardboard characters in unbelievable, absurd situations...This was my second time around with The Scapegoat. I read it 40 years ago - enjoyed it as much now as then. And the narration was EXCELLENT. Vale!
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