Rated of 5
Hello- I heard a lot of good reviews about this book and - how disappointing ! I now think that there was an opportunity for a great book but it was missed. I found the reading pleasant and the story somewhat interesting but very flat when it comes to describing the characters. I personally love stories with good strong developped characters. In this book, I didn't find one single character that I was sad to leave behind when I turned the last page. When the author started developing a character and I started entering his/her world, Ann Patchett suddenly dropped him/her and moved to another one. It became very frustrating at one point and prevented me to really enter the story. Finally, I didn't really see what the end was adding to the story. <<edited for possible plot spoiler content>> I gave it a '2' because it is not the worst book I ever read (it was still a nice pleasant book to read) but because I felt like I didn't meet any interesting characters.
Rated of 5
by Bill Schillaci
The narrative is filled with comic irony, although Patchett's style is so subtle that at times I did not realize I was smiling. On one level, it is a romantic fantasy, a vision of so much that is good about humanity and then a sad reminder of what is bad. We are asked, for a time, to suspend our belief in the obvious, the inevitable. And so gently and gracefully does Patchett weave a web of a budding paradise that she has readers believing in the impossible. The transition to reality takes no one by surprise. We know, in the back of our minds, what will happen. Patchett manipulates our emotional responses so skillfully that we do not even notice it. In the end, she delivers a perfectly right, charming little surprise that allows us to exit on a high note. Finally, the great simplicity of language should make it relatively easy to translate this book into other languages while losing very little of its beauty and meaning.
Rated of 5
by Sally Gunn
As a soprano who has sung some of the pieces with which Roxane Coss mesmerized her unlikely audience, I was thrilled to think again the truth that something beautiful can be transforming - if only for a brief time. I see and hear news accounts on any day of such hostage takeovers, and Patty Hearst's story resonated with me from its beginning, but somehow this novel puts me more deeply into the world of unreconcilable differences: this fiction tells more truth than the news. Each character was so believeable, with one exception: Kato. For a person to have had that kind of artistry and capability, never having lived in the music world, is for me a more than remote possibility. But the obseration that "...the people in the living room of the vice-presidential mansion listened to Kato with hunger and nothing in their lives had ever fed them so well...". gives a new hope to me that there is another way for me to nourish others. What if each of us could have yearly R&R in a place or situation which removes time from the equation?
Rated of 5
by Sheldon H. Laskin
I found the book an easy and pleasant read; with the exception of the first seventy or so pages, I read the entire novel on a flight from Salt Lake City to Baltimore via Denver. While I have nothing particularly negative to say about the novel, neither do I have anything particularly positive to say about it. I don't think the novel had anything unique to add about the nature of the hostage/captor relationship (what's new about everyone being a hostage to fate?), the nature and allure of art, or the elusive nature of love. The epilogue, while not totally implausible (the opera singer, Japanese industrialist, his translator and the female terrorist were in many ways a foursome, so the epilogue does have a kind of logic to it), is not particularly satisfying. Unlike most of the critics, I didn't find the book lyrically emotional; I thought it was pretty flat and by the numbers. I'm interested to see what the other members of our book club thought of it.
Rated of 5
Political farce gets a new face. Some people have a hard time stomaching after 9/11, but just goes to show the books power. Very sublime. Laugh out loud and yet completely tragic. I love this book. It's like neo-magical realism. Can't wait to read the rest of the authors works. Bravo!
Rated of 5
This book was enthralling, and our book group found a great deal of topics to discuss. Patchett's writing is eloquent and easy to read. Although unbelievable at times, the book cleverly winds around the minds of the individual hostages and their captors giving us a taste of what it might be like to be a hostage for the long haul. I am a musician, and the author clearly did her research on the musical aspect as she beautifully wove it through the story. This book was chock full of fascinating and intricate characters. The action takes a lull about three quarters of the way through, but the desire to find out what happens to the hostages and the almost likable captors will keep you reading on. It has a quirky surprise ending that is very debatable.
Judge rules unused Borders gift cards to be worthless(May 23 2013) Borders owes nothing to holders of roughly $210.5 million of gift cards that had not been used by the time the bookstore chain shut down, a Manhattan federal...