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3.7 out of 5 stars101
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VINE VOICEon 23 April 2007
Really enjoyed this book. There is so much going on.

The synopsis given above is an excellent description of the basic story, so I won't repeat that.

I thought the insights into the minds of teenagers were wonderful, and quite worrying if you have teenagers. Fortunately my teenagers are fairly reserved, but from stories I've heard from them, the behaviour described, particularly at the party, is quite believable.

This novel would make an excellent subject for a book group discussion and in spite of the slating by a previous reviewer, I would have a certain amount of sympathy for Jason, the protagonist. He was certainly provoked, and past history should also count on his side. I felt his ultimate fate was very sad.

As if all this wasn't enough, the book also contains comic strips drawn by Trixie's dad, which show his hidden emotions as he deals with his world falling apart around him.

And, for our added entertainment, there's an unusual hunt for us amongst the cartoons. I got close to solving this, but a couple of letters have alluded me, you have to get it right to check it on Ms Picoult's site, so, please.....what's the answer????

Having read "My Sister's Keeper", which was also excellent, I have now elevated Jodi Picoult to the position of my favourite author. Can't wait to read more of her work.
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on 22 April 2006
'The Tenth Circle' is about a father, Daniel, whose daughter is raped by her ex-boyfriend. His reactions to this are depicted in part through a 'comic' (okay, graphic novel) which is interspersed with the narrative - the comic is based on Dante's Inferno, with Virgil guiding comic-book-Daniel (Duncan) through Hell to find his daughter. Duncan is a creature who is driven by anger or protectiveness to change from human form to that of a beast - a central theme of the novel being how people can change so much. The comic represents Daniel's search for the daughter he used to know so well - suddenly she is all grown up and, in the blink of an eye, can be taken by a threat he didn't even know was there. Duncan/Daniel feels he has failed to protect her, and will do anything to reach out to his daughter.

The book features most of Picoult's usual themes - crime, family relationships, trust and love - although sadly without any of the courtroom drama she is so good at. The teenage parties are particularly well written - teenage games in all their sordid, sexy glory have come a long way since 'spin the bottle'! The relationship between Trixie and her best friend, Zephyr, is also very good; their strong friendship is an interesting contrast to how Trixie grows apart from her parents. While her parents are increasingly out of touch with her life, Trixie is growing up, and when something horrendous like rape happens, she and her parents want to be close to each other. But all of them have changed since Trixie was little, and the family coming together isn't an easy solution any more.

So was it rape or wasn't it? Jason, Trixie's ex-boyfriend, is having his golden life ruined by her accusation. While she's traumatised and in pain, his reputation is being dragged through the mud, despite the support of his peers. And without wanting to give away too much of the plot, it's easy to see how he can feel betrayed. As usual with Picoult's novels, the stories aren't straightforward or simple, and the different characters have a very different view of the same events.

While this may not be Picoult's best novel (I definitely think she should return to the courtroom scenes that made 'Keeping Faith' and 'My Sister's Keeper' so fantastic), it's nonetheless very good indeed. Empathetic characters, lots of twists and turns, and a story that will keep you guessing right up until the end.

On a final note, I recommend keeping pen and paper handy, and jotting down the letters Picoult has hidden in the comic as you read the book. It's more fun to do it as you go along!
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on 7 May 2007
I suppose when you are so successful at writing great stories that cleverly explore moral dilemmas and some of the most interesting human situations an individual/ family can encounter, you can't expect to be a winner every time.

For this book by Jodi Picoult I would echo the sentiments of other reviewers. The eskimo culture didn't seem as well researched as it could be. The reader isn't really able to understand how it influenced Daniel Stone's character any more than any other culture would have done. This was much more to do with the events which shaped his life and there seemed no direct relevance.

I would agree the story ended too abruptly also. The book seemed to be missing about another 20 pages which would have brought the story to a more complete conclusion.

I'm still a fan but this wasn't up to standard.
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on 20 December 2006
Although the overall feeling towards this book is that it isnt as good as previous ones, i disagree. The book is more subtle in the way that its written, and the characters are realistic, meaning that they can be annoying but once your far enough into the book, you can understand why.

I will admit that the antics of Trixie and her friends probably dont have much in common with most teenage girls, and that that part of her character was written in to help towards the twists of the rape plot.

This novel does not end in very defined way, and you cant help but be left thinking - what now, but again, this is part of the beauty of the book.

If you appreciate a book that doesnt provide you with answers, and enjoy reading about characters that are flawed and human, this book is a good read, and once you've read it you'll probably find that you want to read more of her books
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Daniel Stone is a comic book artist whose wife is having an affair and whose daughter has just accused her ex-boyfriend of rape. The drama unfolds as we see how Daniel will cope as his life seems to fall apart.

This is a very good novel about the dynamics in family relationships and about whether we can run away from who we are.

Having read a few Jodi Picoult novels, I was glad that this one avoided becoming too formulaic and followed a different path. The only criticism I have is that it didn't seem to be as well researched as some of her other books. In this novel Daniel was raised in an Eskimo village, so I was expecting to learn slightly more about the culture (in a similar way to how Picoult wrote about the Amish in 'Plain Truth') and I did feel a little let down.

I'm really hoping that in Picoult's future novels, she is not pursuing quantity rather than quality.

Passes a few hours and those who are already fans should enjoy.
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VINE VOICEon 6 May 2007
At first, my only criticism of Jodi Picoults latest offering were the comic strips that accompanied every chapter - though I got what she was trying to do with this concept, I didnt like it (having never been a comic book fan). However, it didnt ruin what started out as a fantastic story.

Gasping out loud, as I did halfway through the book, is usually a very positive sign and to be fair, for the most part, I thought this book was excellent but it just ended so abruptly that my mind was still reading and absorbing and the story had stopped! It was very strange; I even flicked backwards and forwards a few times to check that it had, indeed, reached its climax! So, ultimately, the story just didnt seem 'finished' and the reason behind the comic strip inserts was never mentioned and 'tied up' so to speak. I even sat and thought for a while afterwards to see if it ended on a poignant or philosophical note that I had somehow missed but, unfortunately, I came back to my initial conclusion: Fantastic story, disappointing ending...
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VINE VOICEon 30 August 2006
Really enjoyed this book. There is so much going on.

The synopsis given above is an excellent description of the basic story, so I won't repeat that.

I thought the insights into the minds of teenagers were wonderful, and quite worrying if you have teenagers. Fortunately my teenagers are fairly reserved, but from stories I've heard from them, the behaviour described, particularly at the party, is quite believable.

This novel would make an excellent subject for a book group discussion and in spite of the slating by the previous reviewer, I would have a certain amount of sympathy for Jason, the protagonist. He was certainly provoked, and past history should also count on his side. I felt his ultimate fate was very sad.

As if all this wasn't enough, the book also contains comic strips drawn by Trixie's dad, which show his hidden emotions as he deals with his world falling apart around him.

And, for our added entertainment, there's an unusual hunt for us amongst the cartoons. I got close to solving this, but a couple of letters have illuded me, you have to get it right to check it on Ms Picoult's site, so, please.....what's the answer????

Having read "My Sister's Keeper", which was also excellent, I have now elevated Jodi Picoult to the position of my favourite author. Can't wait to read more of her work.
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on 4 September 2007
Having really enjoyed My Sister's Keeper and Perfect Match, I found The Tenth Circle a real disappointment. The chapters dragged on, the characters lacked depth and were slightly annoying, and the references to Dante became more tedious and less relevant as the book went on - almost as if the author was trying to show off her knowledge of Dante. Overall it was nowhere near as good as the other Picoult books I'd read so I thought she might have lost the plot. Nevertheless, I thought I'd give her books one more try and I was pleasantly surprised to find she hasn't lost the plot after all: Tenth Circle just isn't her best.
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VINE VOICEon 24 September 2007
I read this novel as I have become a huge fan of Jodi Picoult from previous books. I have to say though that this is certainly not her best novel.

Although the story deal with the crime of rape - this doesn't come accross as dramatic as I feel it should have. I too was not at all surprised when I found out who had killed the boy, as I had figured it out long before the end. I also have to agree with the previous reviewer who said that the constant references to Dante became less and less relevant and more annoying as the story progressed.

I felt most strongly for the character Daniel, Trixie's father, and found myself fully understanding a fathers need to protect his daughter at all costs. This to me was the strongest character in the story and I truely didn't much like Trixie at all, although I don't think this was the intention of the author.

In closing, I will still read other Picoult novels and just hope that this one was a one off and that the others that I still hae to read will be of the standard of previous books - My Sister's Keeper for example.
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on 27 August 2006
Having read many of Jodi's books and become addicted to her writing, I was very disappointed with this one. It took a while to get into it, although the main body of the book was very good and kept me hooked. However once the setting moved to Alaska, I felt it lost the momentum and I found the final chapters lacking. Best novels for me have been My Sisters Keeper, Plain Truth & Perfect Match
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