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3.4 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews(1 star)show all reviews
on January 12, 2004
Shirley Hazzard owes me $24.00 for this book. Her pompous writing style obscures the basic plot to the point that I wanted to scream out loud. You feel nothing for the characters, mostly because their speech and thoughts are so affected that you cannot believe that they are human beings. The dialogue and speech is completely inappropriate for the time. She seems to forget that this novel was not set in Victorian England. Here's an example: "There was also fascism, rife in city and countryside. At night, young men held the gladiatorial battles of an unequal civil war." Personally, I cannot imagine an modern person speaking like this.
To be fair, maybe it gets better in the end, but I couldn't finish it. It was supposed to be my entertainment on a cross-country flight. I ended up reading the airline magazine instead. At least the magazine wasn't supposed to be an award winning piece of literature.
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on February 14, 2004
Don't do it! Don't buy it! You'll be sorry! Give the $24.00 to a homeless person in the street - better spent!!
I read some of these online reviews before I bought the book, - but did I pay attention to the negative one? Nooooo. I wanted to read this book so badly. I'm so interested in the subject matter, post WWII Japan, but for crying out loud, you have to wade through her archaic, disjointed sentences to get there only to discover that you have no bloody idea what you just read. So you have to re-read it, only to discover, it wasn't worth it. It's TORTURE! This book just is not worth the time it takes. I don't want fluff, I don't want Wal-Mart Book Club Best Seller, but I don't want to wade through THIS!!!!!!
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on July 8, 2004
I would not recommend this book to anyone. The author's wordiness is very hard to sift through and the plot is very much lacking interest. None of the characters are developed very well and in reading this, I often found myself in a state of confusion. It took deep concentration to finish each page and after reading some of the other reviews which suggest re-reading the book, I cannot imagine being able to get through the book a second time.
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on April 20, 2004
I too, read the reviews and decided to give this one a shot. I enjoyed Hazzard's writing style, but the crawling story line was terribly dull and did not go very far. I could care less about the characters and their encounters throughout the book. The complete lack of drama was unengaging and disappointing, especially for a book set in the post World War II era.
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on April 19, 2004
WHAT A WASTE OF TIME! THIS IS THE MOST PRETENTIOUS PIECE OF DRIVE I HAVE READ IN MANY MONTHS. TWO BORING MEN WHO HAVE SURVIVED THE SECOND WORLD WAR.... ONE FALLS IN LOVE WITH A....17 YEAR OLD......WHO IS FROM A TOTALLY DEMENTED FAMILY. PLEEEEEASE...SPARE US. HOW DID SHE FIND AN EDITOR, NEVER MIND A PUBLISHER. SAVE YOUR MONEY.
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on January 5, 2004
In the penumbrous, shadowy twilight, reading, alone. I come upon this passage - page 107 paragraph 9. The phrase " Pattie's pusillanimous plait". Tentative fingers play upon winter-scorched lips. The book is flung across the room. Discarded. Alone.
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on November 23, 2003
I am so sorry to give this review but I was not able to get past the authors elliptical writing style. The plot was too slow and combined with her long awkward style........ I had to give up. Sorry......
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on February 2, 2004
The reflex on several occasions involved hitting my forehead with the palm of my hand and the exclamation, "Oh brother."
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2004
I really wanted to like this book--the plot framework was interesting enough. But the execution--aaargh! Hazzard's language was excruciating to read. The dialogue was so stilted and unrealistic that it made me laugh out loud sometimes. And the characters were flat and undeveloped, as other reviewers have noted--I couldn't keep Peter and Aldred straight, they were so similar. I can't imagine what the awards committee was thinking when they gave this book the National Book Award. Yeesh!
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