17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Too clever by one and a half,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Pope's Rhinoceros (Paperback)
This the most annoying book I have ever read - yes I did finish it, all 753 pages - eventually. I took it on holiday, impressed by the formidable collection of rave reviews on the back. But Norfolk is at war with his reader. He can't bear to allow him or her the luxury of being able to follow his mystifying series of interrelated plots in anything resembling a sequence. Most episodes are preceded by several pages of densely written descriptive text intended, presumably to set the scene, but which in fact merely serve to irritate by their self-congratulatory and clearly arduously researched obscurity. (The book could easily have been 300 pages shorter.) Part of the story is then related - usually well told and gripping. But just as you think you may be starting to see where he is leading, he stops dead in his tracks and whisks you off somewhere else with a different cast, all with bizarre names which you have to try and get to know before the same process is repeated throughout the book. He's a clever fellow and writes well, but you end up feeling as if you've spend a week wrestling with the Times crossword rather than a novel and I hate crosswords.
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Initial post: 25 Nov 2009 13:31:18 GMT
A. Fuchs says:
i agree the names are bizarre: i.e., the portuguese king, Manuel, is given a spanish name, Manolo, same hapening for most of his ambassador's entourage (hernando, bandera, etc.).
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