Customer Reviews


30 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (14)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite a surburban warrior...
The only other Jim Crace novel I have read was 'Being Dead' which I wasn't that keen on. However with the chance to read and review his latest I thought I would give him another go, and I wasn't disappointed - so much so that I have even thought of giving 'Being Dead' another go.

The novel concerns Leonard Lessing a jazz saxophonist who goes by the stage name...
Published on 13 April 2010 by P. Millar

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Expected More
When looking at the back of the book, it's printed with; "Hostages are seized across town. The Gunman's Face Appears on TV. Leonard recognises him as an old friend. He has a choice to make." From this you'd be forgiven for thinking you're going to get an action packed rollercoaster ride of an action, thriller novel. What you actually get is a dull, lifeless attempt at...
Published on 1 Jun 2010 by Caleb Williams


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Expected More, 1 Jun 2010
By 
Caleb Williams (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: All That Follows (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When looking at the back of the book, it's printed with; "Hostages are seized across town. The Gunman's Face Appears on TV. Leonard recognises him as an old friend. He has a choice to make." From this you'd be forgiven for thinking you're going to get an action packed rollercoaster ride of an action, thriller novel. What you actually get is a dull, lifeless attempt at building tension and actually leaves you feeling more exhausted than thrilled. Looking through other reviews, it seems like others feel the same way, in that they felt duped, expecting a thrill-ride but getting something that breaks down about a quarter of the way through.

The story focuses around Leonard Lessins; a very talented Jazz musician who's taking some time off due to an injury. On the news is a hostage taker who Leonard recognises as old acquaintance, Maxim Lermontov and gradually you become aware that Maxim is the type of man Leonard has always wanted to be. You see, Leonard is the cliché wet blanket who, throughout his entire life has taken the easy road, the path of least resistance and although he's had his successful Jazz career, he's always aspired to do something more politically relevant, and now is his chance to do something exciting. Well not really.

Perhaps this is where the book fails. By no means is it a bad book. Crace is a stunningly brilliant writer, filling the scenes with immense detail to let you know early on exactly what your main character is all about, and the scenes of Leonard's musical past are especially well done. Being given an expectation of it falling within a particular genre is where it failed for me. I found myself reading on and on waiting for something exciting to happen and it simply never did.

If the tagline of sorts had not been printed on the back, creating an expectation of something that never arrived, I possibly would have enjoyed this more than I did.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite a surburban warrior..., 13 April 2010
By 
P. Millar "dazzle" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: All That Follows (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The only other Jim Crace novel I have read was 'Being Dead' which I wasn't that keen on. However with the chance to read and review his latest I thought I would give him another go, and I wasn't disappointed - so much so that I have even thought of giving 'Being Dead' another go.

The novel concerns Leonard Lessing a jazz saxophonist who goes by the stage name of Lennie Less. He is a liberal who likes to believe he is, and has been, a political activist in the direct action line - the truth is far from that - so when he hears of a hostage situation involving someone he used to know he once again believes he can jump into the fray and make a difference.

For me Leonard is an excellent character, someone who only takes chances with his music (his wife fell for him when he was at his experimental best at a solo jazz concert) but likes to imagine that he has been fighting the 'powers that be' - but also knowing that, at heart, he hasn't got it in himself to do that. The writing and pacing of the novel is just right and I enjoyed every page of it.

Overall a recommendation and a good read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing read, 9 Jun 2010
This review is from: All That Follows (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I haven't read a Jim Crace book before, and after reading All That Follows I don't think I will again. The plot is based around a rather lacklustre jazz musician, Lenny Less, who seems to have lost his way. We discover Lenny had a somewhat more exciting past when he was a political activist, but even in this he never seemed to become fully engaged.
The blurb on the back of the book seems to suggest that the plot will centre around a hostage situation in which Lenny recognises one of the hostage takers as an old acquaintance from his political past, who "stole" his then love interest. That might have made the book more engaging, however it merely uses the hostage situation as a backdrop to less interesting themes.
Lenny makes contact with his old flame's daughter, whose father is the hostage taker, and becomes involved in a plan to try to end the hostage situation by creating a hoax kidnapping of the daughter. However, even in this Lenny cannot follow through, and backs out at the earliest opportunity. This is in tandem with the storyline that his wife's daughter has gone missing and the impact that loss has on himself and his wife.
The book is peppered with references to jazz, and whole pages are given over to describing jazz and how Lenny feels when he plays his saxophone. However, I'm afraid to say I just wasn't interested and it made an already dull book even more tedious.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend that anyone waste their time reading this book, unless they were a die-hard Crace fan.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nearly, 12 May 2010
By 
ZDDQ140770 - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: All That Follows (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I had previously read the same author's Continent, Arcadia, Being Dead and Quarantine and I'm a huge fan of all of them. The new novel, is however a bit of a disappointment. The first flag is the prose style- gone are the taut landscape descriptions or the deft characterization. There is a lot more dialogue and banter and the world that Crace describes here is more clearly our own...in other words a more traditional storytelling.

Crace sets up a thriller rather neatly- a middle aged man suddenly has his past catch up with him, along with all the feelings of guilt and failure with it. But after the first third the book seems to unravel. The central section set in 2006 has some elegant passages but the plot seems increasingly unbeleiveable. The characters turn out to be quite one-dimensional and ultimately rather dull in their flaws. The book builds slowly to a climax where everyone gets what they were really after and the hero is happy (ish).

Oh.

Ultimately i didn't really care about any of the characters or the world Crace draws out. The novel seems almost hurriedly finished off, occasional patches of brilliance in between long dull sections where the plot is expedited. I finished the novel with a shrug. I can still heartily recommend Crace's earlier books; I've read Continent at least three times, but thinking back it seems a different author... Crace almost seems lazy here. I'm not convinced he cares enough about the book to make me care. This book has its merits, such as the Texas section, or the passages decribing Jazz, and even on a bad day Crace is still a very very good writer... but the high points seem too far between for this novel to fully engage.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars When proper writers attempt genre ficton..., 15 May 2010
By 
A. Miles (Al Khor, Qatar) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: All That Follows (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A sort of Sci-fi thriller, I suppose. Jim Crace is a proper writer. He's got the chops. so genre fiction - thrillers, sci-fi - should be by comparison to literary fiction a walk in the park, no? No. What he's written is a thriller which isn't very thrilling and an SF novel which doesn't invent anything futuristic -. It's all stuff that's already happening. His middle-aged ,boring protagonist is so authentically and skillfully painted as such that I had no further interest in what was going to happen to him after 7 pages. 'Ah!' but some commentator smarter than I might well be saying on reading this review. 'What you've misunderstood, Tony, is that this is a clever deconstruction of conventional genre narratives' and whatnot. Probably so. But it doesn't make it any more interesting to read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interstingly Vague, 3 May 2010
By 
Donald Thompson "waldo357" (Belfast N Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: All That Follows (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Jim Craces novel is set in the near future when devices such as internet TV are the norm and communication is as easy as pie. When Lenny Lessing, a listless jazz saxophonist spots a terrorist holding hostages on the television he recognises him as an old friend from his revolutionary days of political activism. What follows is "road trip" of sorts with his equally listless wife trying to get close to the action. In a way the terrorist actions are predetermined to fail, as are Lenny's attempts to rediscover some direction in his existence. And as the novel fades to black you are left unsatisfied and vaguely listless yourself. The heavily first person led prose ever only comes to life during Lenny's saxophone solo's, written about with a freedom and passion not captured elsewhere in the book. Sadly this is what makes the novel so frustrating, Crace can obviously write spell-bindingly gorgeous passages. If the book consisted of this level of writing it would be a world beater,
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting diversion, probably best for Crace enthusiasts, 4 Jun 2010
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: All That Follows (Paperback)
This book has obviously confused mainstream readers, as shown by the largely negative reviews here. I'm not surprised: if I'd bought it expecting a hardcore thriller, futuristic sci-fi or 'modern literature' then I would have been disappointed. It's none of the above.
Instead, 'All That Follows' is a delicate, intimate story about human relationships and a minor midlife crisis. It may be set in the now and in the future, and it may well have some of the hallmarks of the thriller, but none of Jim Crace's novels are exactly what they seem and this is no exception. I've read nearly all of his books and this (for other fans) feels more like Arcadia in tone than Quarantine. It's wordy, a little bit wandery -- with precious little of his pared-to-the-bone, razor bright prose which borders on terse.
This book is also gloriously indulgent in places, especially when Crace goes to town on the jazz-playing segments. His description of an unscheduled performance which could have gone horribly awry but turned out to be the hero's best gig, his bravest moment, has the sense and feel of a real gig. You can almost hear the crowd and feel the sway.
Similarly, Crace creates possibly the most obnoxious character I've ever read, the guy who has taken hostages and who triggers the events of this book. We meet him mainly in flashback and he's a truly ugly geezer. Crace brings this bullying, loudmouth would-be revolutionary to life with so few words that I'm in awe. His skill is in creating a reality from bare lines of dialogue and acute observations on human behaviour.

However. This isn't the best Crace book to start with (try instead The Pesthouse or Being Dead). And if you don't already admire his writing then I can't really suggest that you'll enjoy All That Follows.
8/10
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too little too late?, 28 May 2010
By 
Annabel Gaskell "gaskella2" (Nr Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: All That Follows (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It's 2024 and the eve of jazzman Lennie Less' 50th birthday. Leonard is on a break from sax-playing - he has a frozen shoulder. Sitting in front of the telly, he hears about a siege in a town not so far away, then he sees a photo of the hostage-taker; it's a figure from his past. It's Maxie - Maxim Lermontov! What's he to do? Leonard used to aspire to be radical like Maxie, back in their student days when Dubya was in the White House, but he never went through with it. This time, rather than ring the police and tell them about Maxie, Leonard sets off to visit the siegeand bumps into Maxie's estranged daughter; this is the start of getting himself into some serious hot water, which is compounded by him not being truthful with his own wife Francine.

Read the blurb of this novel and you'd think it was a thriller - which may make your heart sink, for esteemed literary authors don't have a great record when they turn their hand to thrillerdom. However, 'All that follows' only has some thriller elements, at heart it is really a novel of mid-life crisis.

Leonard is very good at talking himself out of things, the only time he lets his heart really rule his head is when he's playing sax. Like jazz hero Coltrane, he likes going off-piste in his improvisations. The rest of the time, apart from a real hardline health-food diet, he takes the path of least resistance in life, and being around all day is driving him into being very passive. It's affecting his relationship with Francine too, which is already under pressure over the absence of her daughter Celandine. But seeing Maxie makes him want to do something spontaneous and rebellious before he's 50 - it just doesn't turn out quite the way he anticipated it. Having just had a certain big birthday myself, I was very pre-occupied with it looming, so I did sympathise with Leonard more than I expected to, and I did like Francine's strength of character in particular.

I've read two other Crace books that I really enjoyed; Arcadia and Signals of Distressare both better than this novel, however 'All that follows' is not bad - just not quite as good as the others.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The future isn't that bright and the people aren't that nice., 27 May 2010
By 
Benjamin J. Whitehouse "Book geek" (Wrexham, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: All That Follows (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Like many other reviewers this is my first Jim Crace novel. I've heard great things about his other novels, had high expectations for this one and was certainly interested after reading the blurb- middle-aged jazz musicial, hostage taking. I want this to be a thriller however it seems Crace left out the thrills.

Crace's novel is very character-centric but few of the characters are likeable. Set in the future but it's not that different to today.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I didn't particularly like anybody in the book..., 22 April 2010
By 
G. E. Harrison (Cheltenham, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: All That Follows (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the first Jim Crace novel I've read, I was attracted by the synopsis - a middle-aged jazzman somehow involved in a terrorist hostage taking. However, this isn't a thriller (there are certainly no thrills involved) and the hostage taking and the terrorist element is all pretty tame and at arms length. The story, such as it is, is very slight and therefore all we are left with are the characters.

Jazzman Leonard (Less) Lessing, the central character, will be very familiar to men of a certain age - and indeed to most people - he's what has become a staple in books, film and TV - a bumbling, ineffectual, white, middle-class, middle-aged 50-something. I'm a man of a certain age myself and, although I could certainly identify with Leonard, I didn't particularly like him. Come to think of it I didn't particularly like anybody in the book. The other main characters were all women, none of them particularly well drawn or convincing and none as believable as Leonard himself. What I did quite like was the setting in the near future - 2024 - where everything is more or less exactly like today but with technology having just advanced a tad. I also thought Lessing's attitude to his saxophone and to jazz was well observed, probably indicating that Crace himself is a jazz fan/player?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

All That Follows
All That Follows by Jim Crace (Paperback - 6 May 2011)
5.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews