3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Try the other book,
This review is from: The Other Boy (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
First of all, the "the" in the title isn't capitalised. Pedantic, annoying and completely unreasonable I know, but it was the starting point of my dislike towards this book.
The writing just doesn't have enough flair. The plot is a great idea and it has great potential, but it is really let down by the writing style - it's written like a teenagers attempt at a school essay. In the beginning, it's hard to believe JP is an adult because of this, and the lack of flow makes the plot implausible at times. It's almost like it's a film version of itself, and important contextual bits have been cut out, so it seems as though details are missing and only the main points are there. It's easier to read if you imagine it as a TV drama, because despite my inhibitions about the book, the author captures the Irish hardship and social integrity very well. It has a few similarities to Roddy Doyle's "The woman who walked into doors", so if you liked that book, you might like this one.
I didn't find much enjoyment in this book, although I really did want to like it. I can see how the author has tried, and I admire the effort. The beginning was incredibly slow starting, and it felt like hard work wanting to read on, because of all the blatantly obvious ploys to keep reading, and mentions of new characters that are reprocessed too far into the story that it becomes confusing. The snippet of smut at the end definitely wasn't needed and sometimes the expletives are a bit overbearing. It does get slightly better, and though the plot as a whole is clumpy and predictable, the love JP has for his wife and daughter Katie is portrayed with true emotion, and is very well done.
It's not completely atrocious, and I know that a lot of people have read this book and enjoyed in immensely, and I really don't want to offend anybody that does. I'm just being honest about my opinion of the book. I can see how someone else might like it, and as books are very ambiguous in terms of personal impressions, go back to the time before reviews and read a book based on whether you liked it's blurb.