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Susan-Jane

Oakland, CA, USA | Member Since 2014

37
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 1 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 158 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015
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  • The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Lauren Willig
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (803)
    Performance
    (354)
    Story
    (360)

    Deciding that true romantic heroes are a thing of the past, Eloise Kelly, an intelligent American who always manages to wear her Jimmy Choo suede boots on the day it rains, leaves Harvard's Widener Library bound for England to finish her dissertation on the dashing pair of spies the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. What she discovers is something the finest historians have missed: a secret history that begins with a letter dated 1803.

    Jeny says: "Thoroughly entertaining"
    "Alas..."
    Overall

    The worst of it is this: if I am to be given lengthy descriptions of sex play, it had better be original and erotic or possibly comic... or even realistic - (God knows "real sex" is interesting enough to warrant an HBO series of the same name). I felt embarrassed listening to these hackneyed scenes, because I felt as if I was eavesdropping on the writer's own rather immature fantasies, instead of being immersed in a world of idiosynchratic and characters. Literally (and literarily) embarrassed, I felt as if I was learning something about the writer's inner life that I was not meant to see. A Jackie Collins meets Barbara Cartland, masquerading as a serious, albeit playful, first novel. Herein lies the problem. Had it been marketed appropriately, I would not have had false expectations. For all it's apparent "naughtiness", the book was strangely antiseptic... None of the dirt and grit of the period - or much to ground it in a different time. In this way it was like a regency romance written during the 50's. Quite a few loose ends left loose as well. I was disappointed enough to take the time to write this critical review, because I think that the writer's underlying idea has great promise. She had a fairly real inner dialogue going for the main male character, and I applaud the notion that people are people in whatever time they live. I like Anais Nin's erotic fiction - it is really unusual: base and erotic at the same time - and some of this is directly from her life (key point: her life, not only - or even in spite of- her fantasies). And I like "Fanny", by Erica Jong: the point being that this criticsim is nothing to do with being offended by sex. To sum it up clearly, the words :"sheath", "scabard" and "Adonis" were actually used, in all seriousness, in a sexual context! Need I say more? Oh, well one more thing: the narrator was great...(which is why I give it 3 stars).

    37 of 43 people found this review helpful

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