- Also check our best rated Romance Book reviews
Winterlong Paperback – 14 Nov 1991
|New from||Used from|
|Paperback, 14 Nov 1991||
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
There are three main things which distinguish 'Winterlong' for me: the vividly and richly imagined future setting which forms the background to the story: the amazingly effective use of an essentially mythic/ritual narrative structure: and the bizzarely realistic characterisation which complements them.
It is rare to find a novel which both stimulates the sensual imagination, and makes you think deeply. This book does both for me, every time I read it. The basis of the story in psychological and contemporary reality interacts in fascinating ways with its future setting. If you like history or myth, you'll like this book. If you like total immersion in an imaginative world, you'll like it. If you like Washington DC you'll like it!
(If you don't generally read sci-fi or fantasy, don't be put off. 'Winterlong' is neither, having in some ways more in common with magical realism).
The writing style is rich and poetic, concise and elegant. In short, this is one of the best and most original books I have ever had the pleasure of reading, and I recommend it without reservation.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
If you like post-apocalyptic fantasy, you will likely enjoy this book; however there are some pretty strong themes throughout around incest, prostitution, etc. so bear that in mind. It's definitely a book that will make you think, though, and stay with you.
I like the characters. I like the idea. But in order to pull off a story with such a very complicated plot and setting, the author must be, above all, a good storyteller. Hand has a beautiful Dickens-esque quality to her descriptive writing but she needs to pull her story together into a cohesive piece that can be understood and absorbed by the reader. I didn't feel compelled either by being lightly floated through the story or plowing through it in excitement or invested so much that I turned the pages w/ apprehension or even swept away. I know it's too late now but I'd love to see her rewrite this. Sit down and really invest in the story in its entirety.
One last thing, this actually irritated me a quite a bit. You had an entire section of the society you created dedicated to the pleasures of the flesh but yet you could not or would not write a decent sex or lovemaking scene? You cannot say that you didn't want it to take away from the story itself because it was already a part of it. You chose to have these Houses as part of the story, a big part yet you did not take the reader into their world at all. You couldn't even write effectively enough about the main character's struggles with sex to make the reader get how significant that piece was. Why shy away from that when it's such a big part of the world you built?
Again, so much potential but it just didn't deliver.
I read to relax. I do not read to have to look up 3-4 words PER PAGE. Half of the words the Kindle dictionary doesn't have definitions for and since I read before sleeping, I'm not about to get up and find another dictionary or boot up the computer to Google it. I have a decent vocabulary, I just don't know a lot of 16th century words. The author chooses to use obscure words for things where I really feel like she just should have said "teapot" or "soldier". It would definitely help for those words that are so obscure (or maybe the author made them up?) that I now can't tell, even from the context of the sentence, what's going on.
Second issue: The author explains nothing about where you are. It's like you've been dropped into a foreign country, where as I've explained in the previous paragraph, you don't even speak the language. There are references to establishments, relationships, and events that you don't have any knowledge of but it seems like you should. At one point, I checked to see if this was the second in the series and I missed a whole book, because that's what it feels like.
Third issue: You finally get to a point where you think you have kind of a grasp on what MIGHT be going on and it jumps to a new character and "their" story. And then back again. And again. It's hard enough dealing with the first two issues and it seems from the other reviewers who reviewed this book low, this is where they gave up, and I get why. It's mentally tiring dealing with the first two issues trying to read this book that this can be the last straw. I know; I was there too. In fact, that's the point where I came back to read the reviews on this book to see what I was getting into, hoping it would get better. (I'm glad I'm not alone in feeling this way!)
Forth issue: Probably the least significant...what's the deal with the punctuation? I'm wondering if this is a Kindle error of some sort, but at least once a chapter there's a stray period or odd capitalization in the middle of a sentence. Something is off with the formatting in my copy at least and while usually that's an issue for me (not being snotty, just that these type of errors trip me up and pull me out of the story, sort of interrupting the flow in my head!). With this book, because I'm having to look up every other word and re-read sentences repeatedly, I'm not very "in the story" as I normally am. Like I said, I'm really trying to get through this because some reviewers claim this is life changing and I'm intensely curious now, but at this point, I feels like I'm reading for homework not for fun.
If I get through this AND remember, I'll try to come back and maybe update this review if I think the book is worth all the trouble.
**Update: NOT worth the trouble. Spoiler: One of the main bad guys dies "off-screen" and therefore, the reader feels no sense of "justice" and the book feels incomplete. The author builds up this bad guy and then you basically get "oh yeah, that guy died fighting someone else". Then another main character is raped and that seems to break some sort of magic spell or something? Then the super friends leave together on some sort of adventure? There is never any explanation for why the girl character has those magic powers, who the mysterious boy/ghost is, and what her deal was with dream hacking.
This book was so horrible and insane. I feel like I wasted weeks when I could have been enjoying other books. It was worse than homework because at least with homework you feel like you at least accomplished or learned something.