Top critical review
A tough read
on 8 February 2016
This was o.k, far from great.
The story revolves around a group of disparate and desperate individuals who band together to chase 'Mr Shivers' across 1930's dustbowl America to avenge those who he has murdered.
There are positive aspects to this book: firstly, the author has created what I feel would have been an accurate snapshot of the time and place; desperation, unemployment, drought, lawlessness and hard people. The book also reminded me of the Gunslinger and Of Mice and Men (as others have mentioned) and while it's inferior to both, at least the author attempted to convey a cautionary tale which is pretty well explained and illustrated; I found the ending satisfying.
However, even though the book is short - just over 300 pages- it's very boring and repetitive at times. There's a fair amount of characters but none (and I mean none) have any depth, show any growth or are at all likeable. Terrible things have apparently happened to them but it was difficult to feel any empathy for them. Each character was simply an interchangeable mouthpiece and used to respond to or ask questions of the dour and dull (and horrible) main Character Connelly.
That said, there was something about the writing that made me feel this author might improve over time so I'll give him another chance.