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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her best book in years.
Reading this book is like biting into a piece of ripe fruit. Ruth Rendell's books are great partly because of their lucid complexity; she weaves two or three (or five or six) plots together. The books are best when she sticks to two or three. Rendell fans will be delighted with A SIGHT FOR SORE EYES; she avoids the mistakes of the last few years, in which she...
Published on 23 Nov 1998

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars 3stars
easy reading. pretty gruesome. good characters. definitely recommend for light relief. I was hooked into the story straight away. Enjoy.
Published 8 months ago by R. Bach


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her best book in years., 23 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A Sight For Sore Eyes (Hardcover)
Reading this book is like biting into a piece of ripe fruit. Ruth Rendell's books are great partly because of their lucid complexity; she weaves two or three (or five or six) plots together. The books are best when she sticks to two or three. Rendell fans will be delighted with A SIGHT FOR SORE EYES; she avoids the mistakes of the last few years, in which she sometimes bit off more than she could chew.
This book is one of her studies of the psychopathic mind. It is also beautifully atmospheric, which is one of Rendell's trademarks. It has symbolism, red herrings, and dead bodies stashed away in unlikely places. I wish I had not read it so fast. I wishI were still reading it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychopaths at their best, 21 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Sight For Sore Eyes (Hardcover)
Once I had started I could not stop. The characters are heading towards desaster so unavoidably it is almost painful. I find her often mentally very disturbed protagonists so convincing that sometimes it is hard to tell who is really right or wrong. This is maybe the best book I have recently read.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She's done it again!, 16 Jan 2004
By 
S. Hapgood "www.sjhstrangetales.com" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Sight For Sore Eyes (Paperback)
Ruth Rendell has been writing now for 40 years, and you'd think after the huge output she has achieved that she might be starting to go off the boil a bit, or even start getting a bit repetitive. But she is consistently coming up with the goods, again and again. "A Sight For Sore Eyes" is a leisurely tale, spanning many years, but it is absolutely enthralling.
Francine Hill witnessed her mother being shot dead in her hallway when she was a little girl. Eventually her father, riddled with guilt that he was somehow inadvertently responsible for his wife's death, marries Julia, a psychotherapist who has been struck off for being too zealous in her concern for one of her patients. Julia's excessive zeal is transferred to Francine, who she sees as a disturbed child who needs to be ruthlessly protected from the outside world.
On the other side of the tracks Teddy Grex is growing up in an emotionally-cold household, where his family barely seem to interact with each other on any kind of human level. Teddy is determined to rise above all this and make something of himself, but he doesn't realise that his family's dire upbringing of him has left a terrible mark on his soul. When he's grown up he meets Francine at college and becomes obsessed with her beauty. Francine in turn sees Teddy as a sort of knight in shining armour, someone to come and rescue her from the clutches of her overbearing stepmother.
The terrible truth is though that Teddy is a murderer who has already despatched a member of his family to an untimely death, and is to commit murder again before much more time has passed. He also doesn't want Francine as a real flesh-and-blood girlfriend, but as a sort of living statue to adore. Coming unwittingly into the plot is ex-Sixties wild child Harriet, now middle-aged and locked in a chillingly loveless marriage with a man 20 years older than herself. When she hires Teddy to make some cupboards for her she gets herself embroiled in his life in a way that she didn't bargain for!
At over 400 pages long, this isn't exactly a quick read, but there are many memorable scenes here. The last 20 pages will make your flesh creep, it's like something out of a Gothic classic. It's grisly enough for a James Herbert novel! Teddy's fate, when it eventually happens, is truly disturbing.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best Ruth Rendell book I have read., 18 Oct 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Sight For Sore Eyes (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book. the tension came from the unexpected. Not from a series of murders being investigated by policemen, but rather from the interelationships between the characters. I felt sorry for Teddy, who seemed to have risen above his background only to prove to be, after all, fatally flawed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I have read in a long time., 14 Dec 2011
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This review is from: A Sight For Sore Eyes (Paperback)
I am an avid fan of Ruth Rendell but usually I only read Inspector Wexford novels. I recently discovered that I should read this book before her latest release "the vault" and found it absolutely riveting. It is a standalone story which I strongly recommend. Lorraine Mulligan
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Psychological Thriller That Does Not Dissapoint, 15 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: A Sight For Sore Eyes (Paperback)
This novel is about Francine Hill and Teddy Grex, both 'damaged' children. Francine's mother was murdered and Teddy's childhood was a textbook example of parental neglect - it follows them into adulthood until they finally meet eachother -and then the suspence really begins to build.
It is an interesting idea that grows into a complicated, dark mystery that is rivetting. The language is beautiful and the imagery that Rendell uses really breathes life into the story. There are some excellent secondary characters, namely Julia, Francines step-mother who is the most irritating, suffocating character I have ever read - by the middle of the book I wanted to kill her! But don't get me wrong - that is the best bit about the book - it's ability to evoke real feeling in its reader. Rendells excellent ability to draw you into the book through the most insightful dialogue and imagery is unsurpassed. This book is overloaded with pschological insight, it is not one for those who like fast-paced books and can't stand plenty of description and slowly built tension. The ending is very good, all the lose ends are tied up and a subplot is also resolved in the most satisfying way.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally engrossing, 14 Oct 1999
This review is from: A Sight For Sore Eyes (Paperback)
This is definitely a Rendell masterpiece. Showing the sinister side of suburbia. How evil really can breed from the humblest beginnings. The idea that murder is a characteristic of the human psyche and not just a state of mind is truly enthralling. I defy anyone to read it, and not question society as we know it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Rendell, but perhaps not her very best, 13 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Sight For Sore Eyes (Paperback)
This is a psychological thriller with several unexpected twists. As always Rendell does an excellent job pulling together the disaparate strands of peoples' lives and weaves a compelling narrative in this story of a man's search for perfection. As often in Rendell's work the plot revolves around how seemingly random events can coalesce with tragic consequences. Rendell shows how two people from completely different backgrounds, one with a privileged private school education with an overprotective step-mother, the other educated at the local comprehensive and with parents who barely recognise his existence, come together. This is classic Rendell, and those who appreciate her work will certainly enjoy this book. However it is not Rendell at her very best. At times some of the characterisation is a little thin and on occasion even the story-line becomes a little slow. Despite this, it was still an excellent read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Proof positive that Ruth Rendell is truly a master, 10 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: A Sight For Sore Eyes (Paperback)
Another one of my "bargain buys". If it's selling cheap, I'll buy it! Ruth Rendell is a fantastic writer and you can always be sure of a good read. "A Sight for Sore Eyes" was a fantasic read with loads of twists and turns. The ending was suitably macabre and completely unexpected. It will have you sitting on the end of your seat with eyes like saucers and lights will be burning late into the night.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best book I've read in ages, 13 July 2010
This review is from: A Sight For Sore Eyes (Paperback)
RR at her very best.Perhaps more in the style of Barbara Vine. The characters, though not always likeable, are well developed and their lives intertwine cleverly and unexpectedly. I didn't find the plot at all contrived and the ending was certainly not predictable. Perahps some of the reviewers here should have stuck with it till the end! Not a book for the squeamish to read alone!! A compelling read. Highly recommended.
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