215 of 226 people found the following review helpful
Once everything ends you are no more free.,
This review is from: The Dog Stars (Hardcover)
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This is the only thing I want to say about the story of this book. It is post-apocalyptic. If that appeals to you, don't hesitate. Beyond that, no need to even read the jacket copy; just let the book surprise you.
There were three ways this book could have gone awry for me.
1. First and most obviously - it is post apocalyptic fiction and I've read a TON of it. At this point, if you are going to tackle this topic, it had better be special. This was.
2. The manner in which the story was told. It was definitely a non-traditional narrative which could have backfired, but it didn't. Instead, it gave the book intimacy.
3. Writing style. This really could have been a issue for me, it's gotten to be a pet peeve of mine. Authors deliberately leaving out words as a style choice. Difficulty getting the hang. Missing words. Read it anyway. Could have ruined it. Writing like that drives me BATTY. But, it worked here for a couple reasons. The author didn't write exclusively like that, so you might have "Walked on the trail. I ran into Jeff on the way." The economy of the language really gave a feel for the economy of the time, and it was the language that most logically suited the structure of the novel. I have to hand it to Heller, I think he achieved a good balance.
The writing is so good! Evocative. I know that I will see glimpses of this book in my mind's eye for days to come.
The characters were well constructed and really interesting. The relationship dynamics most of all.
There was emotion and the sense of loneliness and futility was conveyed without throwing it in your face.
It was tender and harsh, funny and sad, at times edge of your seat suspenseful. I found it as powerful as The Road; but without the bleakness.
I loved it.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 25, 2013 1:58:19 PM PST
Darin Gilbert says:
I came to write a review, but Nicole Del Sesto has captured my thoughts too perfectly for me to reinvent an inferior wheel. With regard to the writing style (point 3), it did cause me some agitiation over the first few pages, but that melted away for much the same reasons that Nicole points out. It also helped support this overall feeling that, in many small ways large and small, defining characteristics of humanity were ebbing. Thank you Peter Heller for writing this fabulous book, now an all-time favorite of mine, and thank you Nicole for such a thoughtful review.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2013 4:07:52 PM PST
Nicole Del Sesto says:
well thank you very much!
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2013 10:39:21 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 22, 2013 10:40:07 AM PDT
I am only 1/3 of the way into this book but the writing style has me agitated. I prefer the style that pulls your heart into the book gently and wholly and keeps you there coddling it. I will not make a final critique until I finish this novel, hopefully not at the end of a long day.
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 25, 2013 2:21:48 PM PDT
Darin Gilbert says:
I agree the style is intentionally rough, but it's fitting. Hang in there, I'm confident you'll be glad you did.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2013 4:53:58 PM PDT
Peter Schaub says:
If it helps, I kept thinking that Hig has that kind of internal monologue as a result of his illness. Early in the book he suspects that his brain may have been 'cooked' and that this leads to him having difficulty concentrating for any length of time. I fully admit that it was really irritating to me at first, and it almost made me stop reading. I'm so glad I continued on! It is certainly worth it.
Posted on May 20, 2014 11:38:06 AM PDT
Sally de Vries says:
I also would like to thank the reviewer and agree with Nicole below for capturing in words my thoughts exactly. I also read a lot of dystopian/post-apocalypse type books and find that this one is second only to "The Road" in terms of how it has stayed with me ever since reading it. (makes me think I should read your other reviews to see what you like since we seem to have the same taste).
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 29, 2014 11:39:27 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 29, 2014 11:42:28 AM PDT
LAURA SLIVINSKI says:
To bettye198, I had trouble with the writing style, too. Hope you stuck it out as I did, became comfortable with it, and found that it was more an asset to the story than a liability.
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