Customer Reviews


93 Reviews
5 star:
 (42)
4 star:
 (32)
3 star:
 (10)
2 star:
 (7)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A finely crafted, shocking, and rewarding read
On the surface, Rupture is a simple investigation of a school murder. But the careful narrative - revealing each fact in a controlled way to keep you turning the page - is turbo-charged by the voices of the characters.

Lelic's choice to mix first-person testimonies of the crime with a more 'standard' approach to the detective novel is brave. But each individual...
Published on 21 Jan 2010 by Silky

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting perspective
The story is told in an interesting way, alternating between the story of the investigating officer, Lucia, and the witness statements given to her as she investigates the murders. The style of the witness statement chapters is particularly good - with changes in cadence, language and style which gave a really clear picture of the person speaking.
I was...
Published 20 months ago by TracyK


‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A finely crafted, shocking, and rewarding read, 21 Jan 2010
By 
This review is from: Rupture (Hardcover)
On the surface, Rupture is a simple investigation of a school murder. But the careful narrative - revealing each fact in a controlled way to keep you turning the page - is turbo-charged by the voices of the characters.

Lelic's choice to mix first-person testimonies of the crime with a more 'standard' approach to the detective novel is brave. But each individual character seems real - not just in their language but through their approach, life experience and personal view of the crime itself.

The effect is to catapult the reader through a twisting tale of the darkest side of humanity. The book tackles so many issues head on - child abuse, bullying, sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia - but without shoving them down the reader's throat as 'themes'. Instead, the issues remain in your peripheral vision as you concentrate on the story winding its way to a satisfying, and surprising, conclusion.

Overall this is an enjoyable, rewarding and fascinating book. Lelic takes a series of complex elements and fits them together easily. I can't wait to read his next one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful surprise, 17 Sep 2010
This review is from: Rupture (Paperback)
Crime novels are not my thing and this is not a book I would be drawn into reading ordinarily. But I gave it a try after reading a few fantastic reviews and hearing friends rave about it. After two straight nights staying up way too late, because I simply could not put it down, I was left with one of those oddly enjoyable "book hangovers" that happens when the characters, voices and story linger in your head for days afterwards. I was astounded by the way the story so thoroughly twisted around my own feelings and assumptions from the beginning to the end. It was an emotional rollercoaster, in the hands of a clearly clever and talented writer, and I highly recommend others going along for the ride. You might be unsettled but you won't be sorry.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frustratingly disturbing, 27 Nov 2009
By 
Amazon Customer "maria2222" (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Rupture (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
When a young teacher, Samuel Szajkowski shoots 3 children, another teacher and himself in a seemingly unprovoked massacre in the school assembly hall, Lucia May, the detective in charge, quickly realises that maybe this attack is not quite as unexpected as it looks on the surface and with her own experience of sexual harassment and bullying in her "man's world" job, she sets out if not to clear Samuel's name then at least to help explain why it happened, avoid it happening again and also to try and place the responsibility on who she perceives as the real perpetrators.

The main theme is bullying in its different shapes and forms. It shows that it is not only happening between children, but that adults are equally afraid of not conforming and leaving the stronger group. In that sense it is a frustrating read because this is a real problem that is so hard to solve - and I think the author puts it very well in this exerpt from the book: "Why was the onus always on the weak when it was the strong that had the liberty to act? Why were the weak obliged to be so brave when the strong had license to behave like such cowards?"

The story is told in the form of a compilation of interviews/conversations with the teachers, pupils, parents, and Lucia's colleagues, family and friends - a bit like "The Rehearsal" by Eleanor Catton. I like this mix of voices and overall the author does a great job in making them authentic and "compiling" the storyline, however, there are a few issues, e.g. Lucia's boss, Cole. Their conversations do not seem as believable and well-written as the rest of the book, but despite these few glitches, I found it very entertaining and highly recommendable.

One thing though... I agree with one of the other reviewers, surely the final edition of this fine book is not going to be tainted by a cheap and easy shot as we currently have at the police station - there must be a better way to move on!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a brilliant book, 13 Jan 2012
This review is from: Rupture (Hardcover)
I've just finished reading Rupture, by Simon Lelic. I found it when I was checking out the lovereading website, bought it the next day and finished the 300 odd pages in a couple of sittings after being completely absorbed by a brilliantly structured and totally different crime thriller.

The structure is reminiscent of Kurosawa's Rashomon; a tragic event told from the point of view of a host of characters, all giving their unique perspective on what happened, slowly shifting the reader's perception- and sympathy- as the facts emerge.

Rupture follows the investigation of a shooting in a secondary school in London, after a teacher opens fire in the assembly hall, killing pupils and teachers before turning the gun on himself. The investigation is led by Lucia May, a detective who takes a keen interest in the life of the shooter, Samuel Szajkowski. Her investigation begins to unravel a sinister web of secrets and silence at the heart of the school

The plot unfolds cleverly, through about 15 different first-person narratives. These range from pupils at the school, teachers, parents of the victims and relatives of the killer. Each one is conducted as a police interview, and each alluding to Lucia's presence as they talk, though Lucia's voice is never heard during these monologues, giving them a powerful confessional tone. Each one also has a different pace and flow of language, depending on the person, with Lelic creating character brilliantly through his use of vernacular-every one of them providing telling clues about the state of Samuel's mind in the lead up to the shooting.

Lucia's story is told in the third person and her story the similarities with her own life become increasingly apparent as Lucia struggles to cope at work. As she retraces the final days of Samuel Szajkowski's life, the narrative grips, with every monologue ramping up the sense of dread and impending tragedy.

It's a book that looks at the level of trust we put in positions of authority, the violence that is meted out in the playground and the powerlessness to understand what evil lurks in the hearts of men, but the overarching theme looks at bullying. Every character comes into contact with it in some form; either suffering it, ignoring it or inflicting it. As the book draws to a close, you are hit with an interesting question - how much sympathy can you feel for a murderer?

I read a quote from Chuck Palahniuk, where he said; "maybe you don't go to hell for the things you do. Maybe you go to hell for the things you don't do." Which rings true for every character in this book.

The ending did leave me a little disappointed, not giving me the resolution I was hoping for, but that is perhaps the point - and pushes home a powerful message.

Overall, this is a cracking read. I was gripped. The structure puts a fresh spin on the crime/ police thriller and Lelic's writing is concise and taut and delivers a hefty emotional punch. I'm already looking forward to reading his new book, The Facility. If it's anywhere near as good as this book, it'll be a winner.
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbingly grand debut..., 10 Dec 2010
This review is from: Rupture (Paperback)
This book is utterly superb. I actually bought it as a present for someone else,who promptly read it in practically one sitting and insisted i try it myself.As a horror fan generally i read it as a break from the norm. I loathe the term "unputdownable" but if ever it was applicable its here.The story takes place in the aftermath of the worst of all nightmares,a multiple shooting in a school,3 children and a teacher die before the gunman kills himself.A straightforward,albeit distressing case you would think. Not a bit of it,the rest of the tale is told in the form of witness reports which brilliantly weave a compelling and often disturbingly realistic tragedy of bullying,both by and against pupils and teachers alike.There are chapters set in present day regular format alternating with the interviews keeping us updated with the progress of Lucia May,our similarly harrassed and corporately abused "heroine" detective inspector.
The book is by no means a barrel of laughs and at times very upsetting and unnervingly realistic.Lelic brilliantly sets a feeling of helplessness in the reader,taking you back and forth between Lucia and the brutalised teacher,Samuel Szajkowski,and as things get steadily worse for both,it becomes clear the institutions themselves that they work for are the true evils of the piece,with headmaster Travis,who despite never himself commiting a violent act,swearing or even raising a voice,is truly a vile,all too often real example of dangerous figures of authority and power.
One of the main things i took from Lelic's masterful debut,was a feeling of being a member of a slowly dying breed of compasionate,sympathetic human beings in a growing world of nastiness and victimisation,a sensation i'm sure he deliberately set out to encourage.
Five out of five,please read it,although prepare yourself for some unsettling subject matter.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enthralling and skilful debut..., 15 Jun 2012
By 
Mark Philpott "marco772" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rupture (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I must confess from the off, I feel quite the fool. I've had a proof copy of Simon Lelic's debut "Rupture" sitting on my shelf, neglected, for about two years now and only got around to reading it last week whilst on holiday.
Quite simply, I thought it was a brilliant, evocative and thought provoking read and quite unlike anything I've ever read before. I couldn't put it down!

This is all the more remarkable when taken into consideration that there isn't an actual "plot" as such, the whole book begins in the aftermath of a terrible event, and you can feel early on that there won't be any easy conclusion to it.

The terrible event in question, which is never directly relayed but vividly imagined by the investigating officer and painstakingly constructed from eyewitness accounts, is a shooting at a English Upper School by a disturbed young teacher who shoots four people before turning his gun on himself.

So it would seem an open and shut case, but a young female detective, Lucia May, won't let it drop, much to the chagrin of her superiors and the school itself.

To give her reasons for doing so, or much else about the book, would be detrimental to the skilful way Lelic lets his story gently reveal itself.

One of the things that makes the novel stand apart from the masses is the narrative structure. Each chapter takes the form of a one sided dialogue with Lucia as she interviews witnesses and the families of those involved. Only a few chapters set in the police station deviate from this.

It's a remarkably effective technique and Lelic employs a different voice in each chapter, from the stuffy, intellectual headmaster down to the moronic school bully, remarkably making each one feel true and sound authentic, a hurdle not many writers could navigate so successfully.

The main theme of the book is that of bullying and of the responsibilities of those who are in a position/care of duty to stop it but choose not to. As the book unravels there is a clear, but subtly drawn, parallel between the gunman and Lucia which makes sense of her stubborn tenacity.

The book also makes you question your own sense of right and wrong. While the act itself was undoubtedly evil, can the motivations behind it offer any excuse? I have no shame to admit that, in my eyes, one of the victims, to coin a phrase, had it coming. Whether such a harsh retaliation could ever be justified is up to the reader to decide.

So an excellent début that kept me turning the pages and left me wanting more. The only benefit of me waiting so long to read it, is that I now have two further Lelic novels to look forwards to reading and which I can only hope are just as compulsive and well written as this one.

Highly recommended, especially to crime fans wanting a little break from the 'serial killer' norm.
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Death...by a thousand cuts, 5 April 2011
By 
Jill Meyer (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rupture (Hardcover)
I assume that's where the US title of Simon Lelic's masterful debut novel comes from. And the thousand cuts in the book come as much from institutional bullying as they do from school-yard bullying. Lelic presents a plot line that forces the reader to confront the idea of bullying in all its forms. Inspector Lucia May, of the Met in London, has been assigned a case that at first has all the marking of the all-too-common school shooting - 4 murdered by a teacher, who then turns the gun on himself, making five dead, in all. But what drove the teacher to do what he did? The local police department is washing its hands of the case, pressing May to hand in the expected final crime report of "deranged loner kills others, then self". But Inspector May is convinced there is more to the case than what is on the surface. She digs deeper in the school society and finds an ethos of bullying at all levels, from administrator to teacher to student. The strong pick on the weak and the strongest cover up the whole thing.

But if bullying is rampant at the local comprehensive, it's also common at the Met office. Inspector May is on the receiving end of bullying from her male counterparts. She does not complain to her boss because she figures he probably wouldn't do anything about it and that its weak to complain, anyway. Lelic's writing style is masterful; it hardly seems possible that "A Thousand Cuts" is his first novel, but it is. Parts of the book are told in the form of interviews with one character talking. While it's a confusing style, Lelic makes it perfectly understandable.

This a story with a non-conventional ending. It's satisfying without being too fanciful. The effects of bullying in all forms are shown with great sensibility by Simon Lelic. It's a very good first novel and I'm looking forward to reading more by him.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable novel, 10 Sep 2010
This review is from: Rupture (Paperback)
Rupture was recommended to me by a friend. As I haven't read a great deal of crime-fiction I must confess to having been a little sceptical. In fact, I needed more than a couple of gentle nudges before I got around to it. I am glad that my friend persisted because Rupture is simply outstanding. I know that this is a cliché, but apart from having to go to work I could barely put it down. The book has a very clever structure, much of which is based on witness statements from the various protagonists. It is a testament to the author's skill that each of the 15 or so different `voices' ring true. Trying to decide who is being truthful and who is manipulating both the investigating detective and the reader adds a rich level of complexity to the narrative. It is also remarkable that Lelic is able to present a character that is initially at least, unequivocally guilty of committing the most heinous crime and then subtly chip away at the reader's certainty. It is quite amazing how the author is able to manipulate the reader's sympathies. What is extremely black and white to start with soon becomes a shimmering and it has to be said, very thought-provoking grey. Lelic has created a beautifully crafted novel that is sometimes amusing, often harrowing and with a lasting poignancy. It is simply brilliant.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very nearly five stars, 2 Dec 2009
By 
Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Rupture (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I found this book an absolutely riveting read. It is very well-written and the storytelling is extremely skilfully structured. We are told virtually at the beginning the details of the crime being investigated and who did it. The book is the story of an investigation into why the atrocity was committed, various people's views of the crime and its perpetrator, and who may have been culpable for failing to prevent it. I don't want to give away plot developments, because the way the story emerges is truly gripping, but central to the novel is bullying - its origins, its consequences, how people collude in order to avoid being bullied themselves and so on. It is generally horrifyingly believable, and written in a flat style but with an underlying rage which made the book (and me) burn with pity and indignation.

The structure is original and fascinating. The narrative alternates between fairly conventional (although well written) descriptions of the activities of the investigating detective, Lucia May, and what witnesses say in interviews with her. These are presented as monologues, and although it is plain that questions have sometimes been asked or responses given we get only the witnesses' words. I found this a really engrossing aspect of the book and it brought the testimony to life quite remarkably.

I couldn't quite give this book five stars. I was utterly gripped and very moved by it, but I wasn't altogether convinced that all of the voices in the monologues sounded quite genuine. The use of hot weather to create an oppressive feel was perhaps a little overdone. Also, thinking about it afterward some of the characters (particularly the headmaster) verged on caricatures and somehow I found it hard to believe that none of the mature, professional adults who witnessed or were affected by gross abuses had so much as spoken to anyone in a position to do something about it like a trusted manager or union rep. The author may possibly be justified in both these things to illustrate a genuine and horrifying problem, but they didn't quite ring true for me.

Nevertheless, I would recommend this very highly as a thoughtful, genuinely involving nearly five-star book.
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
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting perspective, 10 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rupture (Kindle Edition)
The story is told in an interesting way, alternating between the story of the investigating officer, Lucia, and the witness statements given to her as she investigates the murders. The style of the witness statement chapters is particularly good - with changes in cadence, language and style which gave a really clear picture of the person speaking.
I was disappointed, though, that the story didn't really seem to go anywhere. I didn't know very much more at the end of the book than I did after the first few chapters - there were no shocks or surprises. The story of Lucia's own bullying at the hands of her colleagues was not, I thought, very sensitively handled and I was left with the impression that the author only included it to show why she had such an understanding of the murderous teacher. But the parallels were too great - it felt awkward and contrived. And the ending for Lucia was disappointing - with a clear message that the only way to deal with bullying is to have a complete meltdown or to leave. I would have liked to have seen the bullies and the ineffective managers/headmaster get their comeuppance - some way other than being murdered!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 210 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xb5943660)

This product

Rupture
Rupture by Simon Lelic (Paperback - 3 Sep 2010)
6.39
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews