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The Zigzag Way Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This has so much promise as the story goes exploring the history of silver mining and the characters involved as well as the possibilities of developing Eric’s own story, his relationship with his girl friend, Em and those people he encounters along the way.
Sadly I was struggling from page one as I hate it when authors write in unnecessarily complicated and convoluted ways. This is the sentence that nearly had me putting the book down very early on.
“Since the inn was directly across the square from where the bus had stopped, he could not have missed it even in the dusk. The wind that had scraped and scoured the hills around till the stones gleamed white now struck the tin signboard against the wall of the inn with the sound of a bell striking the hours, drawing his attention to it.”
It might be beautifully poetic but I had to read it twice as I had lost interest by the time I was half way through and it is just a needlessly complicated a description adding nothing to the story for me.
The characters just never really became real. Em may as well not have existed as there are few scant references to her as Eric thinks about what she might have said had she been there but really not adding anything to the story for me.Read more ›
A recording of this novel is available from BBC Audiobooks and Eleanor Bron's reading is truly breathtaking. Highly recommended.
Sadly, this reflects the book that is divided into four storylines. The first, ‘Eric Arrives’ introduces the reader to Eric and his medical scientist girlfriend, Em[ily], in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where they live together, and subsequently in Mexico where Em will be working on a field study in Yucutan. To pass the time in Mexico City, Eric attends a talk on the role of peyote in the culture of the Huichol Indians which stimulates him to find out more.
The second part, ‘Vera Stays’ describes the life of Vera, a Viennese chorus girl with Nazi associations, who marries a Mexican whose family fortune was based on silver mining in the Sierra Madre region. There she becomes transformed into Doña Vera the "Queen of the Sierra", a self-appointed protector of the Huichol Indians and the speaker Eric heard in Mexico City. Now an old lady, she meets Eric at her remote home/study centre but resents his telling her that he is now looking for information about his grandfather, a Cornish miner who had worked in the region. His new and rather vague idea is to use this in a proposed book. However, Doña Vera blames the mine owners for exploiting the Indians’ lives and almost destroying their culture.Read more ›
After finishing this book I was confused. It seems like the story had only just begun. I was expecting to learn more about Eric and his choices, and particularly why he was reaching out to the past, but the author did not elaborate. Also, no explanation was given for Dona Vera's behaviour, there are only some references to ghosts from the past, but it all goes by so quickly, that it's almost as if the author got fed up with writing the book and decided to cut it short, a point one of my fellow reviewers also made.
I could not identify with any of the characters, because I don't feel I was given the opportunity in so short a novel. Also, I found the prose unnecessarily complex and lyrical.
I think this could have a been a great novel if the author had put more life into it. Unfortunately, it reads like a skeleton of a book, a framework that needs to be reworked and expanded.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great book and in fantastic condition, as new and delivered promptly. Total satisfaction, thank you.Published 21 months ago by Rumpy
This was my first taste of Anita Desai and having read several authors of a similar genre, I was looking forward to this book. I was not overly impressed. Read morePublished 23 months ago by HB
Anita Desai's style is precise and her characters are well-drawn. I found this book an interesting, slightly mysterious read, with supernatural elements blended in to the main... Read morePublished on 25 Oct. 2010 by Sue Brandon
Having not read any of Desai's books before, but having heard good things about Desai, this book was a major disappointment. Read morePublished on 31 Dec. 2008 by E. Smith