I read this book back when it came out in the 80's and liked it very much. I saw a lot of correlations at the time with the women's movement and drew connections to the late sixties and early seventies when I was coming of age. It has been almost 30 years since that reading, but a true classic brings something new to every re-reading.
Now I find that, like all good literature, it adapts and applies itself to each new period. When I began this re-reading I remembered the gist of the story and, along with other Atwood books that I have read, the quality of the writing. I did not expect to be blown away with connections to our current times. Money became obsolete and replaced by the card- no biggie. The environmental and even nuclear destruction elements are a common plot line. A bloody coup by duplicitous, ultraconservative, far right, religious fundamentalists that replace the US government with a monotheistic totalitarian society and then proceed to dumb down all thought by or opportunity for the populace? And they pinned the blame for that demise of the US government on the Muslim countries! And that's just the beginning. Wow!
Obviously, I give this book 5 stars across the board. Claire Danes does a fine job reading this book. She sounds the part and performs perfectly with all the necessary nuance and inflection. A great rendition! I'll look for more from her and will start re-reading Atwood's other works as well.
This book is not as good as A Time to Kill but it comes close. Only a few Grisham books over the years have been up to any comparison with his early work. And this one has Jake who is just as conflicted as ever - go for the money and the fame or do the right thing like the good homeboy that he is. Jake always struggles to do both. And Harry Rex is back as alter ego along with Carla, Ozzy, Lucius and a host of opposing lawyers swooping in for a slice of the pie. And all the great diners and restaurants serving southern comfort food. Ummm.
It is really a good book and I loved listening to it. Buuuut it is not a great book. It just doesn't have the momentum of ATTK. It's missing the Klan, the bus loads of NAACPers, the National Guard, the media. This is because it is about money. All the way through it is about money. Until the end. Yeah, yeah it is about race but it just doesn't have the rage, rape and mayhem to be over the top compelling.
ATTK made me cry more than once for a number of reasons, Sycamore just didn't. But it is still a good read.
There were reasons why you said to yourself that you were giving up Baldacci after the last book. This book confirms all of them.
Horrifyingly unnecessary sound effects
Double narration that is ridiculously tough guy - but some how appropriate to the ridiculous story
Main character - ridiculously over the top superhero. And this time he is accompanied by Wonder Woman!
Have I said ridiculous enough?
Save the world, black and white plot complete with hero to the rescue.
Lapses in credibility. Ok, the whole thing lacks credibility. But really, the side trip to Ireland in a private jet so the heroes can bring their guns? How about the hero's private farmhouse hideaway that nobody has found yet in two books despite the fact that he keeps bringing people there? Burned, with multiple wounds, sleep deprived and yet superman soldiers on without flinching or any change in ability. Etc etc.
Yeah, yeah, I know - it is the way this genre works, but remind me not to read another one unless something truly different and unpredictably well done comes along - without sound effects and super macho heroes.
This book could have been laugh out loud funny from start to finish, but it just came up short for me. It was predictable and sweet. The characters were pretty much what you would expect. The reader was ok and improved over time. But it just missed the mark. The pace was off or something that just made it less than it could have been.
Interminably boring and painfully slow. Like literally reliving every second of a long, dull, idiotic teenagerhood! Who would ever want to do that?
I put it down when I realized I wanted to dope slap most of the characters for their moronic behavior - the ensuing brawl would be more interesting than the book.
The large cast of readers make the book painful to listen to as well. If I could give less than one star I would
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