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The Big Picture [Paperback]

Douglas Kennedy
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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The Big Picture The Big Picture 4.4 out of 5 stars (60)
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Book Description

23 April 1998
On the face of it, Ben Bradford is your standard Wall Street hot shot - Junior partner in a legal firm, 6 figure income, wife and two young kids straight out of a Gap catalogue. But along with the WASP lifestyle comes the sting - Ben hates it. He wants - has always wanted - to be a photographer. When he discovers his wife is playing outside the ground, the conseqences of a moment of madness force him to question not just the design of his life but the price of fulfiment. Because finding yourself means nothing when you're pretending to be someone else. From the picket fences of yuppie New England to Montana's untouchable splendour, THE BIG PICTURE spans states and states of mind in a thrilling novel of genuine originality.


Product details

  • Paperback: 467 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (23 April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349108897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349108896
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.4 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 914,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Palm-tingling sensation ... captivating ... a completely convincing imaginative performance ... enthralling (THE TIMES)

THE HORSE WHISPERER recast by Patricia Highsmith ... a compulsive page-turner and a dark moral fable (MAIL ON SUNDAY)

Kennedy's skill is to send you racing down the slope of sheer story (ESQUIRE)

A ferociously plotted, hip and funny thriller (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

Book Description

*A fiendishly clever, yet serious tale of middle-class frustration that will touch anyone who has ever wanted to escape their life. The Thriller goes into a new domain - The Real World.

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First Sentence
It was four in the morning, I hadn't slept in weeks, and the baby was crying again. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book! 29 Jun 2006
By Boof TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I bought this book on a recommendation and I wasn't disappointed. I found myself picking it up at every available opportunity (I LOVE books that make me not want to put them down).

This is the story of a stressed out Wall Street Lawyer in Manhattan who is married with 2 young sons and very disillusioned with his life. He has always longed to be a photographer and regrets the way his life has ended up. By complete accident (I won't spoil it) his life turns upside down in a split second and he finds himself on the run and taking on a new identity. Does his dream of having a new life match the reality?

You won't be disappointed with this book; it's very readable and makes you want to keep turning the pages well into the night. Enjoy
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Big Picture by Douglas Kennedy 8 Jan 2004
Format:Paperback
Quite simply one of the best books you will ever read. A fast flowing story, superbly written. I have read all of his novels, all of which are excellent, but this one is the best. Read it you will not be disappointed.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrrggh! This book... 3 Sep 2006
Format:Paperback
There were so many things I hated about this book. How once I picked it up I just couldn't put it down, how I could never pass by without picking it up, how it kept me up until the small hours of the morning when I should have been asleep, how I kept thinking about the story when I should have been doing something else.

But the thing I hated most was how it made me feel. How I felt as if I was accompanying Ben Bradford every step of the way, how my stomach churned with nerves every time I turned the page... I don't think I've ever felt such sympathy and emotion for a fiction character and it's a tribute to Douglas Kennedy's awesome writing skills that made me feel this way.

Of course, I didn't really hate this book. I loved it and now I've finished it...

I read it at such a fast pace that it took me just 2 days but I know I could have sat down and read it straight through without once looking up.

This is his third book I've read and luckily my withdrawal symptoms won't be that bad as I have "State of the Union" sitting waiting for me...
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A BOOK!! 6 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
ABSOLUTELY UNPUTDOWNABLE! This fantastic tale, of what might happen when cracks start to appear in people's lifestyles and they find themselves being swept along by forces beyond their control, grips you from line one and never lets go.
Literary snobs will probably dismiss it as 'just another' mainstream thriller, but that's their loss. OK, it might not win a Nobel Prize, but Mr Kennedy's work says more about human relationships and moral choices than any dozen pretentious 'serious' novels ever could and, like all good novels, it keeps buzzing around in your head long after you've put it down. (That also begs the question of what constitutes a 'serious' novel, but that's another matter.)
There aren't enough superlatives around to say just how good 'The Big Picture' is. The pleasure lies in finding out for yourself! Style, pace, structure, dialogue - they all score five stars. I rate it as my 'find' of 1998; buy yourself a copy - NOW! - and make it yours of 1999. I guarantee - you won't regret it. What are you waiting for? Me, I'm off to read it again.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced, excellent Kenndy thriller 8 Jan 2010
By MrsMac
Format:Paperback
This Douglas Kennedy book features Ben Bradford, a quite ordinary Wall Street Lawyer who seems to have the perfect life, big home, two kids, beautiful wife, However, he hates his job, he always wanted to be a professional photographer so indulges his passion with the best camera equipment available, his marriage isn't as perfect as it looks and he is stressed and frustrated with his `perfect' life.
His life then takes a dramatic turn when he finds out his wife is cheating on him with a neighbour. The story then explodes into a roller-coaster of action and you will not be able to put the book down as you follow Ben through his drama as he rationalises his criminal behaviour.
I loved this book, a good solid thriller which is what I have come to expect from Kennedy. Superb!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Retired
Format:Paperback
I didn't know what to expect from this book. Truth be told, the title and cover made me think it was some kind of "chick lit", to use the vernacular. (I know - never judge a book by its cover!).

The novel opened in the way I was expecting, with midlife crisis and marital strife in full effect - your typical kitchen sink drama. However, the writing and the situation somehow pulled me in. By the time the author presents the first real twist to the story, I was fully onboard. The novel up-shifted in Part 2 with your usual pot-boiler, page turning action. I like how the author linked the meticulous nature of Ben's work (mind-numbing trust and estates law) with the kind of composure and attention to detail he needed to make his getaway.

This was a great page-turner and, in my view, a great combination of three novels in one, as each part had its own pace.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great compulsive read 5 Jun 2008
Format:Paperback
I loved this book. The story is original, surprising, I was so into the book that I missed my stop on the tube on several occasions. I made everybody around me read it and they all loved it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kept my attention ... 16 Nov 2008
Format:Paperback
This is the last Kennedy book I've read so am now waiting for 'Leaving the world' to come out!
Enjoyed the saga of Ben Bradford however coincidental & unlikely some of it seemed (ie: getting away with murder once and beginning a new identity twice!)
Not Kennedy's best as I think his later work better, but I was enthralled enough to read it quickly to see how Ben managed to work things out to his advantage.
Worth reading & good entertainment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very tense thriller!
Published 10 days ago by caroline reece
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of 2 halves
I nearly did not buy this book as the cover indicated some sort of romantic drama.
Wrong though. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Steveatki
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story
Took a while to get into this story but when I did found very good. My first Douglas Kennedy book
Published 2 months ago by JS Cheshire
5.0 out of 5 stars The Big Picture
I am still reading it with great pleasure. I like all his books.This one is a crime thriller seen from the point of view of the murderer.
Published 2 months ago by Nigel Konstam
4.0 out of 5 stars absorbing
I found this book absorbing, entertaining and enjoyable; it was easy to read and psychologically interesting. Read more
Published 2 months ago by S. Fitzsimmons
1.0 out of 5 stars Good reading time wasted
Terribly disappointing. Is the reader supposed to sympathize with the main character who is so self centred and whining he made me mad! And the plot. . .nonsensical!
Published 3 months ago by emgeekay
5.0 out of 5 stars Can I give this six stars, please?
This was the first DK book I ever read, after which I read the whole lot one after another! It remains in my top 3 favourites (the other two being The Job and The Moment - oh, and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Terry Tyler, author
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Douglas Kennedy is a fantastic writer who seems to have the talent to combine fact and fiction and is very well researched!
Published 4 months ago by sheila
1.0 out of 5 stars An utter disappointment by DK
This book is an absolute flop by DK. The plot, the characters, the story and its twists are weak and underdeveloped, it seems as if DK had to produce something fast and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Dagmar
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
This book was a great read, I have read other books of his, this was a great read, enjoyed very much.
Published 5 months ago by Deborah
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