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Customer Review

59 of 71 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, very poorly written, 11 Nov. 2013
By 
This review is from: The Medea Complex (Kindle Edition)
When I was invited by the author to read and review her book I was intrigued by the subject matter and so researched the Medea Complex in psychology and mythology on the internet, so with my interest piqued, I started this novel....

Have you ever started a book and right from the first few pages been drawn into the story, felt sympathy or empathy for the characters, got so engrossed in the plot and just couldn't put the book down? Yes,I have too - but sadly not with this one. The idea behind this book is good: Anne, Lady Stanbury, wakes up to find herself in a strange place; we, the readers, know it is a lunatic asylum, but Anne thinks she has been kidnapped for ransom. But why is she there? Does her family know where she is? Will she ever get out?

Each chapter, written in the present tense, is from the perspective of different characters - Anne's husband Edgar Stanbury, an out and out money-grubbing prig; her father Lord Darnsbridge...a patron of the asylum; Dr Savage, head honcho at the asylum; there is Anne herself of course, and various other sundry people. The reason for Anne's incarceration quickly becomes obvious to us with our modern day knowledge, but in the 1880s, when all sorts of strange notions for certain conditions were put forward, the future looks bleak indeed for Anne. The asylum is staffed by Dr Savage, prepared to go to any lengths to cure her, Fat Ruth, the stereotypical hateful nurse and Agnus the token kindly nurse. Wranglings regarding inheritance go on in Anne's absence with Edgar her husband, one minute declaring his undying love for her and in the next breath referring to her as a slut. Oh dear, poor Anne.

There is little in the way of descriptive narrative, the characters are as one dimensional as a bed sheet, and I found the use of modern day idioms such as "....None. Zip. Nada", all in one sentence, and in a Victorian setting extremely odd, as was the "humour" which did not work for me. The dialogue of "t'common people" is clumsy and quite unnecessary. Unfortunately the whole thing is so poorly written from a grammatical point of view, with for example, the incorrect use of the word "whom" every single time, when "who" is correct; "lays" rather than "lies"; "was stood" instead of "standing" etc, etc. Punctuation was often poor and there are so many typos, one could be forgiven for thinking a copy edit or proof read had never been done....likewise research into certain details. I'm afraid, for me, all this completely spoiled what might have otherwise been quite a good read and I really struggled to get through it.

The number of rave reviews, many of them consisting of one line only, has me totally baffled and suspicious as to their origins; in other words - are they genuine? If a review is worth five stars surely it is worth more than "Amazing book" or "Fantastic, Couldn't put it down, Can't wait for book 2". If these reviews are genuine, which I doubt, then it's worrying that this standard of writing is perfectly acceptable to some people.

This book will keep me well away from any future offerings from this writer.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Nov 2013 17:06:44 GMT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 11 Nov 2013 17:14:41 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 16 Nov 2013 08:50:13 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Nov 2013 18:52:19 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Mar 2014 14:10:02 GMT
Jood says:
This particular reviewer does as she's asked to do - reads and gives an HONEST review.....honest being the chosen word from the author. If other readers do not agree with my views, then so be it.

Sarah - I have not suggested this work is that of an amateur - strange how your words echo EXACTLY those of the author in her email to me! I also see that the book you quote "The Room Beyond" is the very book I suggested the author look at as I had recently reviewed it negatively; I wanted to make sure she understood that I would give an honest review of her book, and if she wasn't up for that then she must go elsewhere. She read my review of The Room Beyond, liked it caling it "refreshingly honest" and agreed to have me read and review hers.

In reply to The Times - have you actually read any of The Bluffer's Guides? I can think of better ways of getting attention that writing a review after sitting for hours, sometimes days, reading - at the request of the author, or publisher, I might add.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2013 12:17:54 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 16 Nov 2013 08:50:23 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2013 19:00:22 GMT
Last edited by the author on 13 Nov 2013 13:11:12 GMT
Jood says:
Despite what you say I just know you want me to reply to your silly comments.......

You've found me out. I am indeed that failed writer, so bitter and twisted and full of jealousy I am hell bent on wreaking havoc with other struggling authors......because, hell, if I can't make it, why should anyone else! And you, you clever little thing, you sussed this out simply from reading my review. I'm sure the author of The Medea Complex - assuming it isn't you or Sarah Fielding - is comforted by the knowledge that you are in her corner, supporting her because of the damage done to her by my obviously totally unfounded and misguided, if not poisonous, vitriolic review.

Are we to assume that you have enjoyed everything you have ever read or watched? Have you never criticised anything? The job of a reviewer is to be honest; there is no point in simply telling an author what they want to hear....but then, I'm sure I don't need to tell you that, what with that vast catalogue of reviews to your credit. I'm sure the author would not thank me if I copied and pasted her emails to me, here in this box, to show that she asked me to provide an HONEST review in exchange for a free download of her book. I have no doubt she lavished a great deal of time and attention on it - that does not necessarily make it a "good" book or a "great" read; I admire her for her dedication/ - as I said, it's a good idea, just not executed very well. Surely you are mature enough to understand that a review is simply one person's opinion - if two thousand people disagree with me, I can live with it - can you? Can the author? So, okay, the book is in the top 10 list of FREE books - I'm really pleased for the author - but it does not change my mind. You have your opinion - have you noticed I'm not trying to change it here? I do not agree with your opinion, but I respect the way you feel about this book - please do me the same courtesy. I will not be drawn into a slagging match over this.

As I explained to the author - if one is prepared to accept accolades, one has also to be prepared to accept criticism.

To Sarah: To demand the removal of a review just because you disagree with it is just nonsense, and frankly, laughable.

I stand by my review and will not withdraw it.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Nov 2013 10:29:05 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 16 Nov 2013 08:50:34 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Nov 2013 22:43:14 GMT
Part of The Times's life outside Amazon seems to be running the Greatest Novels of All Time website - which lists 8 books, one of which is The Medea Complex. This site has a Facebook presence, and that Facebook site carries no fewer than five photos of The Medea Complex - three of which are plugs published within the past five weeks.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2013 08:43:22 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Nov 2013 08:50:34 GMT
Jood says:
I wasn't going to post this link, but heck, I'm tired of being villified by certain people,......http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18685624-the-medea-complex#other_reviews

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Nov 2013 16:42:13 GMT
Last edited by the author on 16 Nov 2013 19:41:35 GMT
Jood says:
Interesting that The Times has now deleted all of his/her posts....
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