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Customer Review

113 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting story skilfully written, 10 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Purge (Paperback)
I will begin with a warning: don't read the back cover and be careful when you read reviews of this book as they give away a lot. One of the things I like about the book is the way the story, and the issues it is about, unfold bit by bit in an interesting, intriguing way. If I had read the reviews by Claire1806 or Leigh Laitila or the back cover, the experience would have been spoiled.

Of course it's hard to write a review without giving anything away. Let's just say it's about the political history of Estonia and its relationship with Russia, and some social/sexual issues. Put like that it may not sound inspiring but I assure you it is. Even if you have no interest in politics and history, the things that happen in this book feel real and moving, and are presented in a personal way without a trace of preaching or theorising.

I don't like to disagree with other reviewers but some of the comments made are so wrong I have to challenge them. Someone says the book is "about a nasty woman's obsession". This is like saying Jane Austen's novels are about pretty women. No, Purge is about Aliide's life, how she was affected by the things that happened to her and around her, and how she dealt with it. She comes across as a very real believable person. The book made me interested in her. I wanted all the time to find out more.

That review also said the book was confusing, the fate of one of the characters wasn't clear, and that it was depressing. I think the reviewer must have had a bad day. The book is not hard to understand and it is presented in such a balanced way that despite the many dark events, I wasn't at all depressed.

Every chapter begins by stating the year in which it takes place and the book skips backwards or forwards dozens of times. You have to notice the dates carefully but it isn't at all difficult to fit it all together and you won't need to keep re-reading sections - so long as you are reasonably awake.

I had never heard of Sofi Oksanen but I believe she is a very good writer. She has managed to write a book you don't want to put down, and at the same time is thoughtful and challenging.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Aug 2011 11:52:09 BDT
Very interesting review. However it states that the reader skipped backwards and forwards all the time and I suppose therefore that it is not very suitable to buy it for the Kindle as I have found with other books on my Kindle that that is a difficult thing to do.

Posted on 5 Aug 2011 12:10:01 BDT
hfffoman says:
Thanks for raising this point. I meant that the story flips around in time a lot. This means you have to concentrate, but it doesn't mean you have to flip around. It should be fine on the kindle. I will edit my review.

Posted on 29 Jan 2013 16:23:39 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Apr 2014 16:28:00 BDT
hfffoman says:
Since writing my comment above, I have tried using a kindle and I have been surprised at how awkward it is to flip around even a small amount. So I think the first comment was right - it would be better to read this book in printed form.
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hfffoman
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: Kent

Top Reviewer Ranking: 170