Top positive review
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Extremely Satisfying Read
on July 12, 2008
I bought Bakker's "The Darkness That Comes Before" on a whim, and it turned out to be a deeply satisfying read, with three-dimensional characters, all flawed and harboring feelings of self-doubt, holding on to past anger and frustrations, yet trying to improve constantly. Although I agree with other reviewers who say that they would have liked to see strong female characters that weren't prostitutes, I feel that the women were still drawn up as three-dimensional human beings who fell into unfortunate circumstances but are doing their best to internally overcome their lot in life while at the same time searching for that one person whose love for them will transcend their situation.
Another extremely satisfying aspect of this novel is that Bakker attempts to show all characters and all sides equally. You get an impression of every single character's understanding of what is going on around them, allowing a detailed construction of the overarching story line, without feeling partial to anyone necessarily. His language can become sheer poetry at times, his conversations are realistic, all of his characters are desperately trying to hide their flaws and come out on the winning side of an argument.
Overall, a fantastically constructed, well thought-out novel, which deserves much attention. I will definitely be reading the other two books in this series.