- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 38 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Matrix Digital Publishing
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 22 Mar. 2011
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004TASP40
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A Kind of Vanishing Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a well crafted novel which definitely merits a second reading as it is easy to miss some of the clues the first time round. It also works on several different levels - a mystery which might be a murder, human relationships, and trust and mistrust within families. I'm looking forward to more novels from this Sussex based author.
This book really keeps you guessing. There are a series of mysteries that keep you intrigued so you have to find an explanation for them. This is a murder mystery where you are not even sure the crime has been committed.
As you read through the book you are left with a series of questions. At the start of the story you are introduced to two beautifully drawn complex families through the inner thoughts of two nine year old girls who are thrown together as playmates but who don't really like each other much. One of these dissappears for the larger part of the novel and when she re-enters you are left confused but fascinated to work out what has really been going on. Thomson has a way of telling one story but leaving you in no doubt that something else is going on behind the main narrative and leaving it tantalisingly beyond your reach until the very end.
The story is full of twists, the crime and the criminal hinted at throughout but not named until the final two chapters. This is a fine telling of a tale based on an elaborate maze of distrust, it's very much a story of our time where right and wrong live together in a kind of restless intimacy.
Even though the description was long winded in places, and there was sometimes too much ‘showing’ in order to illustrate a particular character trait, I did enjoy reading about the two different families and it was poignant how similar some of the characters had become over time: alienated, battling physical and/or mental illness, keeping secrets from their loved ones. I also liked the way that the author took a family who are seen as respectable, wealthy and admirable and opened it up so that you could see the flaws. The message that I took away from it, and from Alice’s resentfulness towards her own family when she thinks they don’t match up to the Ramseys, is that money and status truly can’t buy happiness and how silly it is for people to feel resentful towards others just because of their perceived financial status.
I certainly wouldn’t call this a fast-paced thriller if that’s what you’re looking for; it’s more of a family drama centred around an ongoing mystery.
I had high hopes for this in the opening chapters, but as the action switched from 1968 to 1999, the characters became difficult to follow in their actions and relationships, and either this was just all incredibly clever and went over my head, or it was just over-complicated for the sheer sake of it. At times, Lesley Thomson's writing seemed quite effortful, almost as if she was producing an extended exercise in writing for the sake of it, rather than the enjoyment of storytelling - and maybe that's what they teach at creative writing classes these days - something that Thomson is involved with.
For a book crafted with a seemingly meticulous attention to detail of time and place, mention of Star Trek in 1968 is a mistake as the show didn't air on UK television until 1969 - the summer of the first Moon landing - so this grated slightly. But that is a minor complaint with the more serious way in which the book spirals out of control as it proceeds - and like other reviewers here have commented - the plot is confused and you really don't care too much what has happened. If Agatha Christie had produced this it would have been done and dusted in 200 pages - and no bad thing too.
Sometimes, authors just over-write for the sake of it - and an Act of Vanishing is perhaps the greatest example of that I have come across in some time. A brief outline of Thomson's working methods and use of photographs to outline the storytelling process at the end of the Kindle version is about as clear as mud - and makes about as much sense as the rest of the book.
Yet again, a greatly hyped book that simply fails to deliver. A huge disappointment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Enjoyable read. Some areas drag on a bit ,with too much description and detail about irrelevant things. But a good story .Published 12 days ago by Clare drew
I enjoyed this book but there was far too much unnecessary detail at times. It was fairly obvious quite early on who the murderer was by I didn't expect the other twists and turns.Published 3 months ago by Sandy Island
enjoyed this book and would recommend it. a good story all the way through.Published 5 months ago by william harris
Loved the other books this one I really did not like was to messy did not know who was playing what role (the two girls) only good bit was the A-Z (book) linking to first book, has... Read morePublished 5 months ago by atreides
Took a bit of getting into, but once into it the intrigue keeps you reading. Did find it a bit confusing at times and had to go back and read parts of it twice. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mrs K Gollins