Customer Review

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ship of tedious, 16 Feb. 2014
This review is from: S. (Hardcover)
I was given this book as a Christmas present due to my love of a another unusually crafted book House of Leaves. Opening the book was a sheer delight, a book full of footnotes and margin notes and beautiful slide out artifacts. The cover and early plot misleadingly hint at a thrilling mystery of intrigue and espionage. I read a couple of chapters but really laboured over the main story and the dense and heavy margin-notes. I googled how to read the book and decided to read the main story (Ship of Theseus) first. I'm glad I did, although this decision did have a downside: You see, the main story isn't very good. It's a real chore from start to finish, filled with repetitive plot strands, unexciting characters, plot-holes, a lack of surprises and a flop of an anti-climax. I knew that going back and reading the margin notes was now going to be a tough slog, especially since I didn't share the rabid adoration for this book that the fictional students corresponding in the margins do. The best I can muster for the main story was that it was at least readable. The margin notes however were very turgid and completely left me cold. The central mystery here is : who really wrote Ship of Theseus? Did I ever care, no. Candidates are hotly debated but there is nothing at stake, nothing to keep the reader engaged. The reader is strung along on the promise of some deeper mystery or conflict. Creepiness, danger, paranoia and subterfuge all waft in briefly and instantly waft out again and the whole story goes nowhere, instead collapsing into an embarrassing sappy love story. Not one of the beautifully crafted inlaid artifacts added anything to my enjoyment of this underwhelming novel. One in particular toward the end of the book, a heartfelt letter from Jen to Eric where she 'confesses' to something early in her childhood was so pathetically limp it made me want to hurl the book in the bin! It's one of the most maddeningly frustrating books I've read, made all the more so by the failure to live up to the genius premise and beautiful artwork. The end of the story offers no closure, instead relying on the reader's willingness to continue the research by googling the various puzzles in the book to get more clues and find closure themselves. I never felt remotely connected to any of the story and don't feel motivated to continue the search. So for me, this is: The End
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4.4 out of 5 stars (96 customer reviews)
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£30.00 £20.40
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