Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Inexplicable., 5 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Unexploded (Hardcover)
Oh dear: here I go again with a fairly negative review. Let me tell you of my reading preferences.
Of nineteenth century literature, I am a huge fan of Thomas Hardy, and also like Trollope and Austen. My favourite reads from the twentieth century are Joseph Conrad, Elizabeth Taylor, Graham Greene and Virginia Woolf. More recently, I have enjoyed the writings of Per Petterson, Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro and Tracy Chevalier. Hardy is my number one.
All of these authors make wonderful use of the English language. Their descriptive passages are always relevant and succinct, effective and sumptuous. Alison Macleod has written such passages in 'Unexploded'. Unfortunately she has written too many; some, particularly in the first 100 pages, with such ridiculous similes, that they actually detract from the narrative. You don't need to be too wordy to be worthy.
And then there's that other distraction, the bane of many a modern novel, the disrupted time line. I don't mind doing some work in a novel - often I enjoy it for just that - but when it interrupts a flow, it can be both annoying and confusing. The additional device of chopping and changing, within a chapter, between one scene of action and another is similarly frustrating.
This novel never really gets to grips with either its subject matter or its characters. There are too many irrelevancies: the lives of the son, Philip, and his friends; the red herring of the green capsules; the butcher. Yet we don't learn enough about the internment camp, or the character of Otto Godlove.
There is plenty of period detail, and Alison has obviously done her homework, but there is sometimes too much, especially in the form of lists. But some of 'Unexploded', particularly the middle section, is beautifully written. What she needed was for one of the friends whom she thanks, or the publishers, to point out the faults, and help her to edit. It continues to annoy me that modern authors feel they have to list their mentors, especially when they have not criticised enough. If authors give thanks at all it should be to their readers: thank you for buying my book, I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much/ more as/than I have in writing it.
On a personal note, if Alison read this review, I am the man who your mate (author) Ray Robinson photographed with your book in a pub in Matlock. If you print off the photo', you can take it down to your local and throw darts at it.
I will never write a novel as good as 'Unexploded', but my critical gaze is first rate. Good luck with the next one!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details