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Living Next Door to the God of Love Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405021160
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405021166
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 739 g
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Give me constraints, not wonders May 10 2006
By Michael Schuerig - Published on
Format: Paperback
The title is great, unfortunately, as it happens, the title is the best thing about this novel. The plot meanders along and touches upon one sub-story after another. There's ample supply of sex and violence. Then, suddenly, everything is over--it must be as there are no more pages in the book. Otherwise, I wouldn't have noticed.

One of the minor problems is that Robson appears to be determined to tell too many stories at once and doesn't get around to do any of them justice. A deadly problem is that these stories are mostly bad fantasy clich?s.

What kills the whole thing for me is lack of understandability. Why are the characters acting in the way they do? What are their motivations? What are their ranges of possible behavior? What are the laws of nature in the narrative universe they inhabit? To the reader these are mostly unfathomable. Don't even try to speculate about what one or another of the characters does next. No chance. As there are no constraints on what can and cannot happen you have to wait until the author comes around and tells you. The effect is not very exciting. Bare facts and wonders are boring.

If anything, read Robson's Natural History before this book. Then, at least you get a glimpse of what Stuff and Engines are about. Alas, it doesn't help much.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
confusing and overly violent Dec 8 2007
By Constant Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback
Like many other reviewers, I felt that this book ultimately didn't reward the effort required to figure it out; although it started out in an intriguing way, the plot meanders more and more as the book passes the halfway point, and it becomes ever more difficult to identify with the characters. Also worth mentioning are two quite graphic rape scenes, neither of which seems vital to the plot in any way, and which represent a departure for Robson, who has avoided explicit sexual violence in her books to this point.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
very hard to read May 9 2006
By Aaron Briggs - Published on
Format: Paperback
I agree with the publishers weekly review. I am usually not one to write reviews, but this book compelled me to, because of it's odd nature.

It starts off well, simialar to any "post-human" / "avant garde" sci-fi. Then it just goes on and on without being clear to with what is actually going on. I got about 2/3 of the way through this book before i actually had to put it down and say, this is "well written", but not good. Nothing is explained, i was still unclear about many details in the universe, and i could barely follow what was happening. Very dissapointed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A sequel to Natural History May 2 2009
By Clifton - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm about 90 pages into the book and haven't run into any of the problems mentioned in the other reviews. The book is interesting, gripping even, but not confusing. Nor do the motivations of any of the characters seem mysterious to me.

But it has become clear to me that this book is a sequel to Natural History (a detail oddly missing from the description). It's not a sequel in the sense of a direct continuation of the earlier plot, but it is concerned with the consequences of the actions of the characters of the earlier novel. So I am putting it aside until I have a chance to look at Robson's previous book.
Flawed yet enjoyable March 6 2015
By Judit Székács - Published on
This is a tough book to review. I've certainly enjoyed reading it (or rather listening to it), but at the same time it felt flawed in major ways. The characters are likeable, I've really liked Robson's humour, the world she built was interesting (although she didn't spend too much time explaining the different entities, apparently you'd have to read Natural History for that - but there was nothing particularly obscure), the plot held together well for the first half of the book - but then it started to fall apart. Robson brought in a second storyline to explain the protagonist's past, which was full of new characters whom she didn't really bother to introduce, or at least it seemed difficult to me to remember who was who. I also couldn't really understand the point of this whole storyline, it didn't really tie in with the events of the book's present in my opinion. The ending also seemed muddled to me.
The audiobook is 16 hours long, and it took me a few weeks to finish (I don't have the time to listen very often), so that might also explain why I've had difficulties piecing it all together. In any case, I don't think it's the right medium for this book, I'm sure it helps if you can reread bits that seemed a bit hazy. Simon Brooks' performance is mostly enjoyable, although there were some words he pronounced funnily - I'm not a native speaker but even I know that 'meme' is not pronounced 'meemee'. There was a character named Valkyrie whose name I understood as 'Velcri' throughout the book, strictly two syllables, stress on the first - is that really how this word is pronounced?
In any case, I wouldn't talk anyone out of reading this novel. It's not perfect, but it has a lot to speak for it. However, I think it's a good idea to read a paper copy or an e-book instead of the audiobook.

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