Top critical review
21 people found this helpful
Tortuous, rambling and confusing
on 2 October 2011
I have enjoyed most of Sophie Hannah's books before now but really can't see what there is to like about this book. Having read the blurb and various ace reviews, I was beginning to think it was me losing the plot until I read some of the other reviews on here. Like other reviewers, I found the whole thing boring. The basic idea grabbed me and I thought it was an unusual and intriguing plot to start with, but the endless tedious conversations between various characters turned it into a dull book. Not only was the plot hard to keep hold of at various times, but the characters were annoying too. The interplay between Simon and Charlie is unlikely and tedious, and the relationship between Olivia and Gibbs is pointless. The most annoying feature of all, for me though, was the repetitive self-analysing and 'stream of consciousness' type rambling of the characters (especially Connie and Charlie) and voicing of their thoughts on everything. This meant a simple conversation or explanation would drag on for pages while the character analysed their understanding of what they'd just heard/said/seen. And the plot about the houses and no. 11/12 and 17/18 became ridiculous and confusing. By the last chapters of the book, I realised I didn't care what the outcome was as I didn't care about any of the characters. I just wanted it finished.