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Stephanie W. (Hudson, OH)
Intriguing but anticlimactic
"Snowdrops" started out as an exciting read, with lots of mystery and interesting characters. I couldn't put it down, but then I did. About two thirds of the way through I got tired of the hints about how the main character hadn't done anything particularly bad...yet and just wanted to know what he was going to do. But not badly enough to finish. So by the time I finally did finish the book, I found the ending to be very unsatisfying. It was actually a fine ending, but I just didn't feel it lived up to my expectations.
Darlene C. (Simpsonville, SC)
Snow Drops by A.D. Miller
The back of the book calls it "an intense psychological drama that echoes the sophisticated entertainments of The Talented Mr. Ripley and Gorky Part". Not! I did not find it either "intense" nor did it have "drama". It did describe the blackmarket for anything that exists in Moscow, a cliche, but from my experience true.
Rosemary K. (Saginaw, MI)
If you're looking for an "I can't wait to get back to my book" read, I'm sorry to say that wasn't my experience.
A.D. Miller's Snowdrops is a refreshing book full of intrigue. Set in modern-day Moscow, the story concerns a British lawyer who becomes involved with two enticing young women.
Lorraine R. (Southampton, New York)
The reader smoothly enters another world: feels the gripping cold, gapes at the horror of certain scenes, and becomes emotionally involved with an older woman's plight.
Occasionally, the narrator makes remarks to a listener (presumably, a lover). I found these comments to be very endearing. I only wish the author had done this a bit more frequently.
The writing in this debut novels flows so well; it was such a pleasure to experience. I eagerly await A.D. Miller's next effort!
A depressing picture of Moscow society after the fall of the Soviet Union. With the exception of two characters, Tatiana and Oleg, everyone was out for their own gain. It was painful to read about people whose goal was to use other for their personal gain. It was so discouraging to read about a society so demoralized and in many ways unchanged in terms of class distinctions since the Tzars. It was impossible to believe that the main character was so naive to not see how false those around him were, in his disastrous business deal and his relationship with the two girls. He was clearly blinded by his loneliness. I was so upset about this novel's depiction of life in Moscow, that I felt I wanted to read other accounts of life in the former Soviet Union today to compare. I can't really recommend this novel to others because it was so depressing.
Eileen E. (Asheville, NC)
Come to the cabaret..
Moscow at the time capitalism begins to take hold is a intoxicating mixture of corruption and celebration. Ultimately, everything is on a downward slide, where greed and sin rule, and no one escapes the temptation. An engrossing read, thought of Gorky Park , the bleakness and the constant snow.
Eileen F. (Ephrata, WA)
Miller shines in this psychological drama. His debut novel gave me a view clear picture of Moscow. I was able to visualize the city, climate, politics, and characters. Thankfully, he limited his characters in number, so that I wasn't confused attaching the long Russian names to the characters.
Linda A. (Palo Alto, CA)
Naivete or Innocence?
Nick, the main character and an attorney, seemed very gullible. I found myself telling him to wake up. This novel would make a good airplane trip read.
As much as I wanted to like this book, I found the premise so implausible I had a hard time feeling any sympathy for the protagonist. For me, writing the story for the purpose of telling his finance things he could not tell her in person was artifice. What torture to read the "confession", at length, of someone you love. The title is well-chosen and appropriate.
Joanne H. (Waconia, MN)
Enter the emptiness of the hollow man (men)
If you want to visit Russia during its early experimentation with capitalism, Snow Drops could be a tourist guide to a bleak social realm, although much of the emptiness comes from an expatriate British lawyer who is the protagonist.
The setting and ambiance were unusually effective,the plot satisfactory, and character development disturbing. I frequently found myself remembering lines from The Hollow Men as I read, and thinking this was a novel about them.
Despite all the gloom, I would quite strongly recommend this book for the discomfiting experience it provides.