5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Whimsical & Unconvincing,
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This review is from: When God was a Rabbit (Paperback)
I was put off by the overwrought simile & would-be whimsical style in the 1st chapter, but persevered. I had to give up halfway through. I agree with negative comments posted by others: there is no plot, just 'first this happened, then this happened...; the characters are one-dimensional, cardboard cut-outs from 'stock characters in fiction'. None is ordinary, they are all special, eccentric, mysterious, yet dead on the page. I believed in none of them & was uninvolved with them & their fates. The narrator herself is shadowy: she tells us she is clever, for example but is unable to make us feel this, although she attempts to do so with the preposterous tale of her supposedly precocious 'discussion' about God & the rabbit with the teacher - the quoted speech is that of an adult, the author, for no child of 4, however gifted, talks or reasons in this way. The rabbit itself seems a clunky arbitrary device & I was unmoved & unsurprised when it met its fate at the (unwitting) hands of the unsympathetic, 'not-like-us' characters. Lacking a plot & the ability to bring her characters to life, she throws in various traumatic cultural events, like the death of John Lennon & 9/11, in order presumably to try to give the book substance, shape, drama & emotion.
What this book says to me is, 'I want to write a novel but have no ideas & no skill in creating believable empathic characters.' The prose is good at its best, but I feel that the characters are puppets, a means to an end to an author who, so far, lacks the subtlety to instil them with life.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Nov 2011 23:51:22 GMT
On The Bright Side... says:
a brilliant review, thankyou, never ceases to amaze me how reviewers and readers can echo others' impressions in so many creative ways. Well done! This book was pathetic, I willed myself to finish it as I had thought of giving a copy as a gift (before I read it myself !). The editor/publisher should be sacked.
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2011 09:19:21 GMT
Thank you. Yes, I enjoy many of the reviews & find them helpful too, although sometimes feel a bit frustrated that my own views are often among the minority. This was chosen by my book club & most people seemed to love it, but on here there are at least some who have a similar reaction to me.
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2011 20:46:55 GMT
On The Bright Side... says:
I don't feel frustrated about having a minority view, I feel it's good that one doesn't be like a sheep and follow the flock, make up own mind...after all it's individual taste and not compulsory to like a book or even spend (waste) money buying the thing, even. See you!
In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2011 21:41:00 GMT
Absolutely, my thoughts exactly. I daresay my choice of 'frustrated' was a coded way of saying this, in order to appear more modest and less opinionated than I actually am.!
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