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The Tutor Mass Market Paperback – Jul 29 2003


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (July 29 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345439414
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345439413
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 10.5 x 17.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #955,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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By Vera Lynn on July 20 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm not a big fan of books you can pick up at the train station, but this one drew me in with its quasi-literary style, as far as paperbacks go.
I have to agree that the characters in the family are mostly pretty flat, but the character of Julian was precisely the sort of misunderstood villain I like to read about. The story started off well, and like a good comic book, I found myself rooting for the bad guy, which is a good sign that either he's not a completely unrealistic bad guy, or the family is just so dull and unlikeable you actually prefer to be in the company of the villain.
After being swept into reading this book at any spare moment, I was tremendously disappointed by the ending. It seemed to me like Abrahams was on his way to writing a story that actually treats its villain with humanity for a change, but the editor got mad at the anti-heroic vagueries of such a plot, and instead ordered him to tack on a generic and uncharacteristic ending straight out of bad Hollywood where the bad guy goes crazy and the dull "innocent" family is only justified in getting rid of him.
On the positive side, the bad writing and underlying themes that even the author apparently did not catch on to served as great inspiration for my own writing, because reading this book couldn't help but make me think that audiences deserve better.
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Format: Hardcover
The Tutor is a suspenseful and scary book that was quite entertaining. Unfortunately I must admit that instead of feeling satisfied by it I can't help but be disappointed that a great plot was not developed and fleshed out with nicer characters and a more cohesive sequence of events.
In my view the characters were unlikeable, except for the charming 11-year-old Ruby. This girl basically looks after herself in every way; she cooks her own meals, locks the house up after her, travels alone on her bicycle, etc. This is completely unbelievable and makes her parents look neglectful. They regularly returned home at seven or eight in the evening without checking to make sure she'd got home from school all right or anything! Then there's Brandon, the teenage jerk who needs a tutor because he failed his SAT. To be honest I thought that Brandon was an awful parody of a teenager - he drank, smoked, did crack, skipped school, flunked his exams, had meaningless sex, listened to rap, swore constantly. After all this are we really supposed to sympathize with him? A lot of the families bad behaviour could be justified by the death of the eldest son Adam years ago, and although of course this is a terrible event, I just did not buy that the family could become so dysfunctional just because he had died.
The best bit about the story was Julian - the villain. I liked the parts of the story about him, as he was truly vile and unfeeling. The parts of the book from Ruby's point of view were great as well and very funny in places. It was these moments that kept me reading on avidly despite my vague dislike for Linda, Scott and Brandon.<P
Overall The Tutor kept me in suspense but I have no inclination to read it again (as I do with books that I like) and it leaves me with more questions than answers. My advice is read The Perfect Crime also by Peter Abrahams, which I think is a much better thriller with a great plot.
JoAnne
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By sleeping sheepsnake on Sept. 28 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I think I shall rave about this book for a little while--at least long enough to assuage the guilt over not simply giving it a five-star nod. I mean, how do you actually rate a novel that is a traditional thriller, but dares to remain understated, dares to avoid glitz, most of the way through? Ultimately, I think the author could have worked in a few more scenes of real mayhem and yet not degenerated to shlock, but since he didn't--since The Tutor is restrained, creeping terror without splatter til the late-going--I'm left trying to say it like this: for restrained, creeping terror in a domestic setting, I award the full five starrinos, but for not finding a way to work in a bit more splatter, I deduct one star, leaving a sort of phantom or ghost star.
Which means it's still well worth reading. Fans of Ramsey Campbell's Nazareth Hill should stop here, to meet another plucky adolescent girl who may be the only one clever enough to notice danger as it slowly infects her home (of course any brave child remotely resembling the heroine in Nazareth Hill, and finding herself in similar--but not supernatural--dire straits, is likely to win me over big-time). Fans of Stephen King's Misery should probably meet The Tutor; Peter Abrahams seems to have King's ability to create characters and situations presented in a style that compels you to read on and on and on until the book is suddenly finished (and they both do psychopaths very well, thank you). Fans of...well, heck, either Conan Doyle's "The Speckled Band", or Alan Scholefield's forgotten novel Venom (also a forgotten film!), should read The Tutor, if snakes don't actually make you shiver too much, that is.
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By A Customer on March 21 2003
Format: Hardcover
I've long been a fan of Peter Abrahams work, no pun intended. I got hooked when The Perfect Murder came out, and worked my way back and forward through many of his stories. He writes the kind of intelligent, creepy thriller that I really enjoy.
As much as I liked all his books, I particularly enjoyed THE TUTOR. The characters were believeable and fresh, particularly the heroine, Ruby. Abrahams style is thoughtful --and, again, intelligent. That said, the pace just won't let you go. I found myself up until 1:00 AM last night, and I've got lots of work to do today!
Wonderful job, Peter!
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