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The Arsonist Audio CD – Audiobook, 24 Jun 2014


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Product details

  • Audio CD: 10 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group; Unabridged edition (24 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307876012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307876010
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 15 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,032,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

An eloquent chronicler of the complexities of ordinary relationships, whose informal language belies the depths of her insights . Miller nails the contradictory emotions and desires that are responsible for people so often bypassing the seemingly easy road to happiness. . A satisfying read (Independent)

In another writer's hands The Arsonist would be a thriller, but Miller is concerned with deeper mysteries of human motivation . Miller has been compared to Anne Tyler, and shares her uncanny compass for the contrary virtuosic description of a house devoured by fire reveals the range of her talent, but she never writes for effect (Sunday Telegraph)

'Miller's thoughtful, searching prose fills in all the background details, and her vivid characters are utterly believable. Brilliant (Kate Saunders, The Times)

Miller writes with tremendous subtlety and perception (Daily Mail)

The Arsonist is full of Ms. Miller's signature intelligence about people caught between moral responsibility and a hunger for self-realisation (New York Times)

Miller writes with grace and poise, crafting an examination of love and loss that is both understated and emotionally charged

(Guardian)

It is the slow atrophy of Alfie's intellect, and the responses it elicits from those around him, which lies at the heart of the novel, and which Miller handles with a deft acuity (Observer) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Senator's Wife, a sophisticated and subtle novel about a family and a community tested when an arsonist wreaks havoc in a small town --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Bannister TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 July 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Frankie Rowley has been working in Africa most of her adult life when she returns to Pomeroy, New England, now her parents retirement home, but for years their summer home. Her return to the small town coincides with the start of a spate of arson attacks. Houses are burnt down with the divide between the all-year-round residents and the summer residents becoming wider but with both sides demanding action. Bud the newspaper reporter, relocated from reporting political news, has a big story to tell but is in danger of upsetting the different factions. Meanwhile American politics are focussed on Monica Lewinsky.

This is a book dense with the details as Frankie examines her life in Africa, the transience that she has led her life and whether now is the time to change her way of life. Meanwhile she is reconnecting with her mother, Sylvia, and concerned about her father, Alfie, who is rapidly slipping into dementia.

This book was a bit of a non-event, the writing is good, but almost diffident around the key questions it raises, not least how Frankie resolves her inner-conflict about where she belongs in the world or even who and why the fires were set. Although not a particularly long book, this took me an age to finish, not least to the circular nature of the writing where the same themes and questions were revisited with little added to make this device satisfactory.

I have really enjoyed some of Sue Miller's previous novels but this one failed to give much in the way of satisfaction. The tension built between the full-time residents and the vacationers were not followed through or even explored in any meaningful way whilst Sylvia's difficult relationship with her eldest daughter, Frankie, not given the background required for the reader to fully understand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is not just a book about arson, but also about fueling the flames within us, whether they are about success with our careers, rekindling or finding romance, retirement, or looking for that one thing in life that has escaped you.

Pomeroy, New Hampshire, a small town in winter that swells to twice it's size in population in the summer. We have the people who live here year round, and, the 'flatlanders', usually rich summer people who come to this delightful town with fresh air, green grass and unpolluted water. This is the quaint lesson of them against us when someone starts fires burning down the summer folks homes. So far, no one has been hurt or at home when the fires were started, but when the number of homes reaches 4 and 5, everyone gets queasy.

We get to meet the people in the town. We follow Frankie Rowley as she flies from her job working for an organization who helps the people in Nairobi. She has been in Africa for several years and she is returning home, burnt out from her job and her love life. Her parents have retired to Pomeroy from their teaching positions at a college in Conneticut. What Frankie finds is a town full of unrest and her parents with their own issues. She meets Bud Jenkins, the new owner of the Pomeroy newspaper, and they are very attracted to each other and start a romance. Quickly Bud realizes Frankie is the woman he is looking for, but Frankie has tendencies to wander. She cannot stay in one place too long. Bud becomes wrapped up in the search for the arsonist, and his love of Frankie. Frankie realizes her father has some sort of dementia. Her mother, Sylvia, is distressed and out of sorts. What will happen in this small town, it might surprise you.

Deep emotional issues rise to the surface for many of the people we meet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. L. Rees TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Whilst America obsesses over the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, the picturesque little town of Pomeroy, New Hampshire, has other concerns. A firebug is targeting summer homes - several properties destroyed, some residents lucky to escape with their lives.

A swiftly moving whodunnit centred on police investigations? No, instead here is a study of human relationships, primarily those of the Rowley family. Daughter Frankie is just back from years in Kenya, where things did not work out. Now she is shocked by her mother Sylvia's problems as father Alfie steadily sinks into dementia. Also prominently featured is local paper owner Bud Jacob, fugitive from the pressures of city life.

The bulk of the book involves prolonged conversations and a seeming obligation to provide detailed past histories. Meanwhile, almost in passing, homes set ablaze reach double figures. Eventually comes an arrest, but is this the culprit?

Reaction? Sadly I feel the novel fails to work either as a love story or as a mystery. Bud surely deserves better than the irritating Frankie? ("I need...a life," she says tearfully. Whose fault is it, please, she has yet to achieve one?) The title is "The Arsonist". Impact would have been greater were this kept in mind. (A highlight is Bud's "Letter from the Editor" which focuses on the issue.)

Admittedly the portrayal of Alzheimer's is movingly done - it a touching irony that Sylvia once considered leaving Alfie, but now he is leaving her.

Good in parts but overall a disappointment.
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