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2.0 out of 5 starsStrange Read
Reviewed in the United States on September 12, 2018
First....I am confused as to how anyone could rate this a 4 or 5. I don't read reviews prior to reading a book...because everyone has their own idea as to what is a great read as opposed to a mediocre read...After reading a about 20 percent of the book..I felt as though I needed to check out the reviews...so I continued reading....I'm no literary expert but this was the most tedious, all over the map book to read. I'm not a fan of the style it was written in...but done correctly the book should flow and make sense....in my humble opinion this book made little sense....no definitive plot, characters under developed and way too many sub plots....I read for entertainment and enjoyment....this just didn't make the mark. I gave it two stars because it takes a lot of effort to write and publish a book. All I say is Reader Beware....I am in the minority when reviewing this book
5.0 out of 5 stars4.5 Stars -- Literary and Intense!
Reviewed in the United States on June 29, 2012
When a popular graduate student goes missing from Cambridge University, the students, professors, and police in his small slice of the world get swept up in the investigation.
Emily Winslow's debut novel THE WHOLE WORLD features an intricately woven and psychologically wrenching puzzle-within-a-puzzle of as told through the eyes of five characters, each providing equal measures of insight and misguided assumption. I found myself going through the first quarter of this book slowly, relishing the way she brought character and setting to life, and lingering over every sublime word choice. Winslow has a way of making the written word soar while maintaining it completely accessible. I read the middle half of the book in one sitting, though. The story swept me away so much so that I was late picking my daughter up from camp!
But the closer I got to the end, the slower I read - not out of enjoyment, but out of dread. The puzzle had changed from a whodunit to a whydunit - an unflinching appraisal of a train-wreck unfolding before your eyes. Winslow delved into the culprit's psyche so well (as she did with each character), I found it unnerving to read. It's like reading about a senseless violence and wondering why anyone would do that - then finding out the why, and, realizing it makes it no less senseless.
If dispassionate whodunits are your cup of tea, you might want to pass this moody book up. However, if you hunger for intriguing psychological drama, painstakingly set in a haunting sitting, get THE WHOLE WORLD. I, for one, am looking forward to - and bracing myself - for her next release.
2.0 out of 5 starsOk story but a bit choppy and irrelevant at times
Reviewed in the United States on October 26, 2020
I enjoyed the read because I lived near Cambridge for 9 years and could visualize the scene. That included the now complete Grand Arcade. The sentence structure could have flowed better and there were times when a random short sentence added no value. I found that very distracting and had to reread several sentences or paragraphs to get what Emily was attempting to convey. I cringed every time she tried to represent how a younger adult overuses the word “like”. Not a bad read but could have been better.
Winslow weaves her characters in a world of secrets, setups, miscommunication, and those fantasies we believe are true. Each piece of this complicated puzzle is told by a different character. Her characters are believable in that they don't step out of character even though things are not as they appear. Her settings put this reader into each scene with my own emotional response. Although entirely different in story line and plot, THE WORLD is as complicated and riveting as Girl Gone, currently on the best seller list. I expect this to do as well. Winslow left me pondering how any of us manage to live in harmony with our own versions of what we hear and see in this world. I look forward to reading her next book, already on its way to me.
Just having finished reading Emily Winslow's first novel I was impressed as I am an avid reader and am particular about books. Love the ones that keep me interested and are hard to put down. This book met those needs as it had so many different characters along with a story that kept one wondering what was going to happen next. The ending was one that was satisfying not like so many others I have read in the past after spending so much time in a book only to be disappointed when the end leaves you dissatisfied. Look forward to her next book as I think Emily is well on her way to be a very popular author.
I enjoyed this book very much. So much so that I ordered the authors' newest book immediately after I finished the first one. The story alternated between narrators, which gave different perspectives on the same events. I'm always up for a good mystery/thriller that keeps me guessing, and this fit the bill. I would recommend it for mystery lovers, anglophiles, and those who looking for a "new author" (new to you, I mean - this book was published in 2010 I believe.)
The novel's story has several sections, each told from the viewpoint of one of the various characters. It is full of surprises and delicious details. The author, Emily Winslow, has a wonderful gift for description, which brings the reader right into the scene. The story builds in its narration of the events and has many exciting turns and unfoldments. It takes place in Cambridge, England, around students and faculty at the university. Recommended for Anglophiles and mystery buffs.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 11, 2011
A very clever, page-turning story set in present day Cambridge, England. The author has written a labyrinth with surprises and interesting characters. It is easy to follow the story because it unfolds clearly, even if it is surprising you.