Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't get it., 4 Feb 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Disputed Land (Hardcover)
Disputed Land by Tim Pears is frankly, to me, a bit of an oddity of a novel. It begins with a man intent upon recording some aspect of his family's history for his children, who seem bemused by this.
At this point I anticipated a story set in the 1970's about the man's past in connection to the current present. However, when we flashback we are in 2008 our "present day". Theo, the story's author and main character is a teenager and is meeting up with his relations, a rare occurrence, for Christmas at his grandparents home. It transpires that his Grandmother has cancer and has brought them all together so that they can divide her possessions prior to her death. There is bluff selfish businessman Uncle Jonny his obnoxious twins Xan and Baz and his beautiful wife Aunt Lorna. Theo's Aunt Gwen who has newly become a lesbian, her partner Melony and her daughters Sid and Holly with golden child and favoured grandson Matt set to follow on.

What bugged me is that with the reveal or twist in the closing pages of this novel, like Theo's children I wondered what precisely the point was of this particular story he told. It didn't seem to bear any relevance or importance to the lives which his children and grandchildren now led, and would seem in many ways likely to anger them with the laissez faire arrogance of the past and the almost fairytale like plenty. The truly interesting story for me was Theo's present in relation to his past, of the past there is plenty but of the present there is next to nothing.

What remains is essentially the story of your average middle class privileged Christmas with everyone trying to be civil and get along. And the strange, uncomfortable yet important act of sorting out someone's possessions when their death hasn't yet occurred but is known to be impending.
Though these are common experiences, it's a bit boring, and nothing special. The idea that Theo is writing this from a future that was predicted yet not heeded is supposed to be what makes this special. If there had been a continual juxtaposition of this concept throughout the novel it might have become moving even alarming but instead it just feels like a juvenile sensational addendum to a thirteen year olds short story, and a riff on the ideas of the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present.

Sadly the bulk of this novel is very Aga Saga esque and its failed attempt at a decent twist doesn't save it. If it were a paperback and not an ebook it would be off to Oxfam tomorrow I'm afraid. 5/10
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
 


Review Details

Item

4.0 out of 5 stars (10 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
12.99 11.26
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer

R. A. Davison
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 619