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3.7 out of 5 stars
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3.7 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(2 star). See all 66 reviews
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If ever a book needed editing this is it. For a start you could get rid of the first two chapters which are absolutely appalling especially with regards to the dialogue. As an example: "Wow, are these features really great or something?" "What features?" "Diamond coated blade has no teeth and will not cut fingers! Cleans up quick and easy! Wet blade eliminates bone dust! Splash guards and bone screens included!" "It's always a little shocking to see the commercial underbelly of research," he agreed.

I nearly gave up reading at this point. However, I found things really picked up and became more believable in chapter 3 when drippy Veblen became invisible and we were told how her neuroscientist boyfriend had been seduced by the Cruella-de-Ville Cloris. I now thought that the plot had really begun and that we could concentrate on a ripping good yarn about how a naive if not quite innocent scientist can get caught up in the politics of the evil medical device industry. (Yes, it happens!)

But no, by now Paul and Veblen were engaged and I had to endure two unbearably tedious sections where she introduces him to her best friend and her parents. And so it went on. Every time we got somewhere, we got bogged down again with endless description. Not that Ms McKenzie can't describe, you understand, she does it very well indeed, but these descriptions just go on and on, and I want to read something with some action!

I think the major problem with the book is that it trying to do two things at once. On the one hand it is trying to depict a humorous romance between a flaky girl and a handsome academic. On this level the book fails completely as it isn't, as it stands, the least bit funny, because Veblen is utterly stupid and the minor characters are simply stereotypes. On the other hand, there is a story here about the business and politics behind US medical research. Now this is a story that should be told. In fact, it should be shouted from the rooftops! To do this effectively, however, you need more sympathetic protagonists and fewer caricatures playing minor roles.
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VINE VOICEon 13 December 2015
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you like squirrels, this book is for you. They (or it) crop up all the time and are even shown on the front cover. Veblen is a freelance writer and translator and has a fixation with the rodents. She believes one particular animal follows her around however impossible this would be geographically. Her fiancé, Paul, is a neuroscientist who is looking for backing to produce a device he has invented. He is on the verge of the big time financially. All this should make for an interesting read, but I found it such hard going that I abandoned it at about page 100. This is very unusual for me as I usually persevere, but I'm sure there will be many who will carry on and enjoy it in it's entirety.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I’m all for quirkiness, I’m quirky myself, but unfortunately there is a fine line between being quirky and being tedious. For my taste, the quirkiness of Portable Veblen crosses that line so that instead of being the entertaining read that most of the previous reviewers seem to have enjoyed I found reading it to be something of a chore and I struggled to get through it. I could see what the author was trying to do but it just did not work for me, finding Veblen (and that squirrel) to be a frustrating, annoying character.

Some books improve on a second reading – I have re-read books that I have disliked on the first reading but enjoyed second time around – and I suspect that this may be the case with Portable Veblen.
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VINE VOICEon 21 March 2016
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Meh. I thought that this book would be for me but it really wasn't. I really didn't enjoy reading it. I could put that down to it just being the wrong time for me to read such a quirky book. I guess I just found it weird and annoying. I couldn't connect with the character and I just wasn't bothered about the plot at all. On top of all that, this book was really big. I'm not going to lie, I couldn't even force myself past the first half. I just didn't get it and I'm not sure I want to.
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on 28 May 2016
Perhaps it's me, couldn't see what the hype was all about
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on 22 May 2016
Boring
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