23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Not an unpleasant combination...,
This review is from: Italian Shoes (Paperback)This is a book that doesn't seem to follow the usual rules. Likeable main character? Nope. Linear and slightly predictable plot? Er, no.
Instead, what you get is something of a curate's egg. In places, this book is beautiful, insightful and fascinating. There is a sharply-defined atmosphere, a simplicity that belies some depth of feeling and understanding. Alternatively, there is a sense for the reader that the book has not quite completed anything, and everything is partially-understood and partially-divulged.
So in summary, this book is interesting but flawed. Overall, it's an enjoyable read if a somewhat frustrating one.
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Initial post: 18 Apr 2013 02:32:02 BDT
Barry Gale says:
I second that. A good read. That Mankell can keep the reader engaged in such a mundane story - only two or three places where my interest faltered - is remarkable. Some excellent moments - the hypocchondriac postman's surprising singing voice at the mid-summer party, and the cat freaking out when Welin, with a touch of madness, dug up his dead dog. But as you say, frustrating. I didn't mind the story being incomplete, unresolved. That's life. Loose ends make a story more real. But I got the sense that the characters of both Welin and Louise were not consistent. I didn't believe Louise's violent reaction (jealousy?) to Welin inviting Agnes to live on the island. And I didn't believe that the narrator was the same person who abandoned his girlfriend years before, habitually looked through others' mail or drawers, and (even allowing for intoxication) tried to force himself on Agnes.
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