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18
3.3 out of 5 stars
Before the Poison
Format: HardcoverChange
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Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews(1 star)show all reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2012
Robinson is a mediocre writer, but his Inspector Banks books are usually entertaining, and the Yorkshire setting is interesting. But this book is awful. The writing is cliched and pedestrian, and the main character is a bore. I plodded on for about 100 pages, but that was more than enough to tell me it was a waste of time.
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on December 2, 2013
This stilted novel is at one with it's stilted narrator. What a waste of time! I really don't know what Robinson was trying to achieve with this claptrap effort. I usually enjoy his fiction but this novel has actually changed my view of him as a writer. I don't think I will bother reading anything else by him for a very long time. Save your money and your time: avoid this book.
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on July 14, 2012
I really enjoy Robinson's Inspector Banks novels but this novel was incredibly boring. I kept reading it thinking it had to get better but it was truly awful. Save your time and money and do not buy this book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2012
This book is dreadful. The guy simply cannot write. How can anyone pen as many books as Robinson has, but be still totally unable to write?

It is full of unintended non-sequiturs due to faulty sentence structure and stupid phraseology (I can give you LOTS of examples), leading the reader into laughter at their inappropriateness, and including a healthy dose of self-pitying angst exposed by the lead character, for example at around page 405 where he berates himself (over two whole freaking pages) for getting a completely unwarranted assumption utterly wrong. And not for the first time. Either the hero is demented, or Robinson is. Or both.

And it was at around page 405 that I gave up, halfway through the page - I have NEVER gone as far into a book as this and given up because I just could not stand any more. It was pure torture.

I had already previously decided, after several chapters of mind-numbingness, to skip the interminable, exquisitely detailed, temporally misplaced and unremittingly boring flashbacks to the news articles and Grace's memoirs, as being far too badly written and of no consequence to the main storyline, such as it is. I mean - rich elderly guy buys an old house with a history, and starts to unravel (or not) its secrets while boffing his real estate agent almost half his age after losing his own wife less than a year previously. Geez, give us a break, Peter.

Maybe that personal excising of the flashbacks allowed me to continue reading as far as I did, but even then, I just eventually had to cut short my own torment in reading this rubbish. I have no idea how the book finished, nor do I care.

I give it one star simply because I could not give it zero.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2012
An extremely disappointing book from an author who was clearly contractually obligated to produce something. Reading this was a complete waste of my time. I kept waiting for it to improve and I waited in vain. Save your money.
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