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Their Wildest Dreams [Paperback]

Peter Abrahams
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Character rich increasingly fast paced novel Feb. 26 2004
By Larry
Several stories of varied characters converge in a literally explosive climax in this extraordinarily well written novel. On the Mexican US border outside of Tucson, lives Mackie Larkin, a divorced housewife who dreams of owning a dance studio but after a failed real estate deal, desperately needs money just to make ends meet. Her daughter, Lianne falls for an older man who works at the same ranch her father does. Nicholas Loeb is a mystery writer who travels to rural Arizona to get hands on experience in law enforcement. Buck Samsonov is a crime lord who runs a couple of strip joints in the region. All their paths converge in this very clever crime novel. The question is who will be on top in the end.
After a slow start the plot becomes increasingly fast paced once we get to know each of the characters and their separate problems. Alternate chapters are used initially to reveal the individual characters. Part of the change in momentum occurs when the characters' lives converge making the separation by chapter no longer necessary. The characters, a major strength of the work, are all original creations. The conclusion is a bit problematic and unrealistic. However, this one is well written and very much worthy of a reader's time.
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By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
An author can often choose any kind of book he wants to write. Peter Abrahams (PA) breezes through this sometimes interesting story with cliched dialogue and a plot that should have some edginess, given its inherent nature, but falls flat almost all the time. This book also struck me as being very anti-male, probably soup de jour in PA's neck of the woods. The ex-husband is a jerk; the chief cop is dumb and owned by the villains. The villains of course are all male. The daughter's boyfriend is nice, but mentally dull. The author in the story (read: book within a book) is trying to write a novel for which he is particularly unsuited (only star appearances on the Today show or with Diane Sawyer or nauseam will sell his book). He is saved in the end by the unbelievable heroics of the daughter, who is Supergirl incarnate. One nice thing was the lead bad guy is Russian, not German ... I kind of think PA is playing a joke on his readers: ordinary housewife becomes extraodinary stripper (a transparent implausibility); her daughter who saves the day; the obtuse writer whose life is turned around by a reader/reviewer (e.g. moi) on Amazon. This book will stay in my mind more than one minute solely because of the ways prudish PA limply describes how stripper/dancers get the big money when performing. Get thee to a rocking strip joint gallant author PA and gain some authenticity in your writing. Other problems: obligatory lesbian strippers (authentic, for once); as already noted: unsubtle to the max super teen girl; the happy ending: good girls and guy should be drawn and quartered, which would have happened if the reality established in this novel had been adhered to. Turbo lets lil' one save the day. Unreal. Unreal. Readers who like this book won't read Ruth REndell, so I won't recommend her. But Michael Connelly, please, read him and get depth, sound characterization, a good plot (almost all his novels) and great prose.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Their Wildest Dreams Sept. 4 2003
By A Customer
When Stephen King insists that Peter Abrahams is "my favorite American suspense novelist", I take an immediate interest in that author. And I have yet to be disappointed. Page-turners like The Tudor and The Fan set the hook deep in my throat, forcing me to become a huge Abrahams' fan. Then along comes Their Wildest Dreams. Where most successful authors appear to follow a formula, Mr. Abrahams threw this avid reader a curveball that caught me completely by surprise, while distancing himself from his earlier thrillers. But don't be disillusioned. Their Wildest Dreams is a great read with layered characters that you'll really care about. If he ever decides to give up writing--God, I hope not--maybe, just maybe he should look into becoming a magician. How can an author juggle the lives of so many convincing characters without losing the audience? Ask Peter Abrahams. How can an author take an average teenage girl, a divorced mom, loser dad, and a struggling mystery writer, and make a compelling story? Read Their Wildest Dreams. After I read this novel, I found myself looking at my female neighbors with a discriminating eye. Could one of these moms be a stripper in Fort Erie, Canada? Obviously, Mr. Abrahams did his homework on a number of subjects, including his fictional writer, Nick Loeb who learned how to "do women." For those with some dirty thoughts: Give depth to a woman character. Their Wildest Dream is a terrific read worthy of your attention.
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5.0 out of 5 stars get ready for a wild, wild ride Aug. 18 2003
Having read a lot Peter Abrahams' books, this one is definitely the best. I love Abrahams' style. Not for one moment is the reader's interest allowed to wane. His character descriptions are brilliant which shows his great grasp of the human race, the so-called "normal" people and life's oddballs. True, Mackie does sound a little bit too good to be true but I suppose there are people like that. My imagination was also a bit stretched by the fact that Lianne, a wholesome, well-brought up teenager, would suddenly not only think of a crime but would be prepared to participate in it. Other than these two instances, I found the rest very believable indeed. Anyway, buy this book, borrow it from a friend or go to your local library. A treat awaits you. Also, I think it is time that Abrahams' older books were brought back into print. I am sure there are enough other readers like myself who don't only read "new" books. Yes, looking at the date of first publication is interesting, but certainly not an indication of whether the book should be read or not.
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