3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Darker but Addictive
Couldn't put this down. But having said that, it was darker than Marian's usual lighthearted and funny novels - and I wasn't expecting that - so it wasn't the uplifting and amusing read I was used to.
Whilst I found all of the characters entertaining and actually liked Lola's style of conversation, I found the domestic abuse and alcoholism/depression a little...
Published on April 1 2009 by Mrs. Emma L. Elsey
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cheerful cover hides a dark book
I've read all of Marian Keyes' previous books and was expecting a similiar light, entertaining read from this one. Instead, the subject material was dark and brought me down. If Marian wants to write more serious books that's fine but she shouldn't be dressing them up in a frothy cover similar to those of her more light-hearted books. I didn't enjoy this book and would...
Published on Feb 8 2009 by Jenna W.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Darker but Addictive,
This review is from: This Charming Man (Paperback)Couldn't put this down. But having said that, it was darker than Marian's usual lighthearted and funny novels - and I wasn't expecting that - so it wasn't the uplifting and amusing read I was used to.
Whilst I found all of the characters entertaining and actually liked Lola's style of conversation, I found the domestic abuse and alcoholism/depression a little depressing. It was also sad to see so many women without the self-esteem to deal with people and life. Although this may just be closer to reality than I would like...
However, the book was written very empathically with all the entertaining twists and turns of a usual Marian Keyes.
Recommend, but be prepared with a hanky.
Also, read my first Sophie Kinsella (Remember me) in the same period Remember Me?. It's a much lighter style, easier to read (intellectually and emotionally) and a better choice for a 'fun' read.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read,
This review is from: This Charming Man (Paperback)As usual, Marian Keyes newest novel, This Charming Man, kept my interest and I recommend it. Although the book claims to be about 4 women affected by one man, Paddy de Courcy, Alicia remains a mystery to the end. I never considered Paddy as charming, either.
A number of reviewers have commented negatively on Lola's voice, as the writing is in diary short-hand. However, in the first chapter, her voice rings true and she is very, very funny. Later on in the book, her short-hand style began to get on my nerves, as all the characters sound like her.
Keyes deals with some tough subjects in this book--domestic abuse and alcoholism. She does an exceptional job with these subjects.
I really did like this novel, but it was unevenly edited. The beginning and the end were top-notch, the middle needed work. While I would have appreciated more humor in the heart of the book, Keyes does a great job of keeping the reader mystified over several key plots.
Keyes has a keen understanding of human behavior that comes out in her books and which make her an internationally best-selling author. She falls slightly short on two key characters in this book, but the other characters--Lola, Grace and Marnie--are all fleshed out very well and I came to care deeply about them.
By the author of the award winning book, Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify and Energize Your Life, Your Home and Your Planet.
5.0 out of 5 stars Darker than her usual stories but still loved it,
This review is from: This Charming Man (Paperback)Probably my favorite book by Marian Keyes so far.
Darker than we're used to with her books but couldn't put it down.
5.0 out of 5 stars Marian Keyes delivers another great read!,
This review is from: This Charming Man (Paperback)Marian Keyes delivers another fantastic novel that is laugh out loud funny while at the same time is gritty and moving. I absolutely loved this book and had a really hard time putting it down. Regardless of the heavier subject matter, there was just enough humor to make the grittier details tolerable. I loved Lola's character who made me laugh out loud and I couldn't wait to see what would happen next with her and as much as the details were difficult to read, I found Marnie's character eye opening and I was suddenly in the mind of a character whose motivations I was unable to relate to, but through Keyes' prose, I cared enough to have compassion for.
I'm not sure I loved the ending, but it might just have been disappointment that I was coming to the close of the book. Although I enjoyed how it all came together in the end, I'm not sure it was enough, which I'm afraid is all I can say without ruining the ending!
Lola's character written as diary short form didn't bother me in the least, although I have read some reviews that found it unsettling. My girlfriend started the book after I read it and she too commented on this, finding it distracting and a little annoying. I liked how the different voices and typeface separated the characters.
I have to rate this as a 5 star based on how much I thought about this book when I wasn't reading it, how much I HAD to keep reading to find out how it would end, and how it made me laugh, cry and think about issues I normally wouldn't have the opportunity to ponder while reading chick lit. Thank you Marian Keyes for delivering another fantastic book!
4.0 out of 5 stars touching,
A Kid's Review
This review is from: This Charming Man (Paperback)I just finished the book. It took me more than 2 months to read it. I found it difficult to read as some times. The subjects discussed are not really joyful... It's a touching story (I should say touching stories). Glad I read it. It is different from other Marian Keyes book but really enjoyed the book. It made me laughed even if it was not a funny story.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as light as her usual fare,
This review is from: This Charming Man (Paperback)When I started reading this book, i found the first hundred pages written in a "diary" style and i found it really annoying. It didn't get any better for the POV of that character, Lola. The other characters in the book were written with a "normal"style when it was their turn to tell the story. i.e.: Might have been better if consistent. But not. Even wrote dialogue in annoying style and not consistent either. Also, noticed each character different typeface.... Anyway, that aside, this is a bit different from her usual books. Not as light hearted. It deals with domestic abuse and alcoholism so it could be a bit triggery if you've got easily-pushed buttons on those subjects. However, i found her storytelling from the points of view of those particular characters very realistic and sometimes harrowing which means she did a good job. Makes you wonder if she's either been there or known someone close that has. If not, then she's done extensive research and done it well.
The three main characters, Lola, Marnie and Grace are all well drawn out. The man they each have in common, Paddy, is not so well explained. He's more than "charming but flawed", he turns out to be a real bastard but we don't really find out what made him that way. He lost his mother at age 15 and seemed to have a cold, unfeeling father but there really is no detail and he was a bastard even as a very young man. Lola's adventures were quite funny once you got your head around the awful style and even then i tended to read those bits a bit fast because i found it tedious and overdone. I wish she'd have had the dialogue bits in "normal" speak at least. That's where it seemed the most inconsistent and hard to read. The story, though, was compelling enough that i did want to get through even though at times, it was hard to read emotionally too. Marnie's story dealing with her alcoholism was particularly realistic. She was isolated, both emotionally from her surroundings and family and physically as she lived in London and the rest either in Dublin (Grace) or, temporarily, in a village in Co. Clare, (Lola, who interacted with many of the villagers, some in surprising and quite funny ways).
There are additional parts to each character's story that pop up as the book progresses, too. It's not all told at the start and that actually works. Overall, aside from the style of writing for Lola's character, it was a very good book though a bit different from her usual fare. Another of her recent books, Anybody Out There? was a bit different as well, dealing with grief. I wonder if she's moving towards this sort of thing, a serious issue or two underlying the main storyline which still has some funny and light hearted bits and good characters. If so, that's not a bad thing.
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down,
This review is from: This Charming Man (Paperback)I loved this book. Sure it tackled some disturbing subjects and it wasn't "light" but very hard to put down. I always rate a 5 when a book draws me in so much that I'm thinking about it at all hours of the day. There was plenty of humour - so much so that I got some odd looks from my family when I'd suddenly burst out laughing thinking of something that I'd read.
A chapter or two entitled "Paddy", to give more insight into his character would have added tremendously to the book. Yes his mother died and his father was a deadbeat but would have liked more stuff on what shaped him and why he was filled with so much anger.
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed immensely, though this one's def different,
This review is from: This Charming Man (Paperback)As in all of Ms. Keyes books, I hated putting it down, and didn't want to read it while nodding off in case I missed anything, and wished we could just chain her to a desk and FORCE her to keep writing day and night, and...
I found the tougher subjects of the book actually a little disturbing. The characters' minds are bafflingly frustrating.
However the book was a good read, the characters, especially Lola, very likeable. I think Paddy was too one dimensional and should have been fleshed out a little more. In reality, even evil jerks have some redeeming qualities - not so Paddy.
Ms. Keyes is getting more confident to delve into the more taboo topics, and I'll keep looking for her titles but I hope she also continues to give us the fun, young romps as she has in the past.
Very funny other reviews.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read in ages,
This review is from: This Charming Man (Paperback)It's been a long time since I've had a strong physical reaction to reading a book - this one really affected me. It started out seeming cheerful, funny and slightly fluffy, and then BOOM, you realize that there is a much more serious subject matter. My stomach dropped a few times, which to me is the sign of a great book! I loved that this writer wrote about really important social issues affecting people who might seem more like stereotypical "chick lit" characters - she makes a great point that these things can affect everybody.
5.0 out of 5 stars Different but Wonderful,
This review is from: This Charming Man (Paperback)Though this is very different from Keye's other work, I have to commend her for tackling very difficult subject matter and still giving me something to laugh about.
Many reviewers are giving this book bad reviews because it's not the fluffy chick lit that we have come to expect from Marian Keyes. I think this is one of the books strengths.
Keyes is moving away from the chick lit genre and is moving into new territory. It's always a daring thing to do when you have a fan base that expects something from you and has expectations from your work.
Either way you tell it, This Charming Man is grim indeed but Keyes gives us something to laugh (and cheer) about in the end.
So take a chance. You won't be sorry.
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This Charming Man by Marian Keyes (Paperback - Jun 10 2008)