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Customer Review

80 of 88 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just ... get ... on ... with ... it .......... zzzzz, 21 Jun. 2011
This review is from: The Distant Hours (Paperback)
It was a dark and stormy night in the mysterious castle as a terrible crime was committed - an author bored her readers to death with over 600 pages of tedious prose ...
Three elderly sisters wander about in the dark (along with the plot), muttering about the awful events of the past but never quite revealing what they actually were. The rain keeps falling, some people are bad, sad or mad (and possibly all three), and everyone's terribly worried. Thunder crashes, and - wait for it - lives are ruined forever. But whatever happens, they must NEVER discuss it amongst themselves. This doesn't stop them boring us poor readers with it, however. Page after page of internal monologue and unconvincing descriptions of England during the war are occasionally interrupted by scenes set in an equally unrealistic present, in which a dull girl tries to solve the mystery of what inspired an unpleasant sounding but apparently famous book.
Hands up all those who guessed at all the so-called dark secrets long before they were eventually revealed? And by then, did anyone actually care?
This book is crying out for an editor with a hatchet. That is, if a story so drowning in cliches could ever be saved.
Whatever Kate Morton was trying to achieve, and at times you can almost see what it was, I'm afraid it hasn't come off. She has obviously been heavily influenced by classics like Jane Eyre, I Capture the Castle, Great Expectations, and Rebecca: maybe she should read them again, this time paying more attention to how it should be done. And while she's at it, she could try reading Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger, too.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Jul 2011 22:27:27 BDT
Tosca says:
Hurray! I ploughed on (and on and on) to the end promising myself that if I ever finished the wretched thing I would reward myself with reading the reviews of this risible book hoping to find others who had suffered as I had...This review mirrors my views exactly. A truly dreadful book.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Sep 2011 18:26:02 BDT
Bookwoman says:
I did exactly the same. But some people have given it 5 stars! Unbelievable.

Posted on 11 Sep 2011 17:29:56 BDT
Totally agree ! I waited for MONTHS for this book to get on the shelves . In the end I got so fed up of the plot , that I jumped to the last 10 pages just to say I had read it .
I have lapped Kate Mortons 2 previous books up (refusing to come out of the Hotel room whilst on holiday till I had finished one !) , but was let down with this .
Lets hope the next one is a reflection of her first 2 which were brilliant .

Posted on 19 Dec 2011 13:56:17 GMT
Reading these reviews has restored my faith in my own literacy - I thought I was the only person who found it dire after reading such glowing reviews when it was first published. Perhaps if Kate Morton could rely less heavily on descriptive prose then the story could be condensed to half its size and draw to a more rapid conclusion - huge sigh of relief all round!

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Dec 2011 15:40:41 GMT
Last edited by the author on 19 Dec 2011 15:42:53 GMT
Bookwoman says:
Yes, this was an absolute shocker, but isn't it interesting to see the grid showing how people rated it? I don't think I've seen another book on Amazon where the stars are so evenly distributed.
Where are the editors these days? It seems that if you've had a success with your first book or two, then publishers will print absolutely anything to make a few quid.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2013 14:56:56 BDT
Not having read any books by this author, some will say I haven't the right to comment. But the wide diversity of the reviews is, to say the least, strange.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 May 2013 14:59:00 BDT
But maybe not to the liking of those who think that 'a thick book' presages 'a good read'.
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