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on 16 September 2017
Excellent, gripping story with much to discuss. Would make a good book group choice as there are moral dilemmas and difficult situations with many possible outcomes which would make for interesting conversations.
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on 8 April 2014
This will make you think twice about spending a fortune to holiday in an area where poverty is endemic - or at least raise your awareness. An uncomfortable exploration of the impact of selfishness and how situations can spiral out of control all too quickly. Some beautiful descriptions and a solid read.
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on 25 October 2017
Tremendous wordcraft, an absolutely wonderful book.
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on 27 September 2017
not for me to much a like a travel log
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on 26 December 2017
Extraordinary writing to conjure up the surreal setting for this book. Who can be forgiven or forgive themselves for actions?
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on 30 June 2017
Lawrence Osborne writes very well, but the book does not gel somehow, although it starts strongly. In some ways he knows too much about Morocco and wants, or feels compelled to convey this familiarity, which might be the result of having been a travel journalist as well as a novelist.
But the descriptions are a little repetitive. I think the other problem with the book is the nature of the central characters. The fact that people have money, drink, take drugs and have sex does not of itself make them interesting. He does have some insightful things to say and says them very well. And it is certainly refreshing to read a novel by a Brit not set in London or the Home Counties or on a university campus. But overall, despite the things to enjoy in it, the plot is not really credible and the ending rather similar to many others, in which justice and vengence seemingly evaded turn, at the last minute, into vengence done. You do want to get to the end of it, but I found myself skipping pages of description to simply get on with the plot.
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on 1 April 2017
The best book I have read this year - excellent
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on 16 March 2017
yes, interesting
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on 26 August 2017
Two friends raved about this book and gave me a copy, which I suppose is always high risk. I'm still baffled by what they saw in a depressing story in which the only kind characters are portrayed as fools. Apart from them, there isn't a single pleasant character in the book, and the 'atonement for guilt' promised in the blurb - which kept me going, in ever diminishing hope - never happened. Guilt is mentioned often enough, as is forgiveness, which the self-absorbed main characters freely give themselves, without any understanding of either. The cruellest, most heartless character of all is never brought to book. The wild, extravagant, drug and alcohol-fuelled 3 - day party given by the wealthy western couple simply isn't believable. Why would they spend all this money - in really beautiful, artistic ways - on a lot of people neither of them seems to like very much? The narrative voice jumps around so much there are scenes where you can't tell whose head you are meant to be in. Apart from that, the evocation of heat and colours of the desert, together with the beauty of the natural world and harshness of life for the locals, is well done.
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on 29 September 2013
I liked this book. It has an interesting story line and is very well written. The characters are described without prejudice and although their physical descriptions are sparse and I found it difficult to imagine how each one looked, this is perhaps done deliberately by the author so that their inner spiritual and mental attitudes are more to the fore,
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