25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
I wanted to love this,
This review is from: The Greenhouse (Paperback)
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I love foreign fiction novels, especially those from Scandinavia, so I thought "The Greenhouse" would be a shoe-in for me. It was really difficult for me to get into it because the story was a little too vague and slow moving. Maybe it's just that I like to know the basics of what's going on from the outset, so I can picture everything in my mind.
The main character, Lobbi, (the nickname for Arnljotur Thorir), is a red-headed 20-something Icelandic country-boy. As the result of what he calls a "half-night stand", he has a young daughter with a woman he doesn't even know. His father is widowed due to the accidental death of his mother and he has an autistic twin brother. He inherited his love of horticulture from his late mother, especially roses. He's been offered a job in a monastery in a near-by European country (never named in the book), so he takes this chance to cultivate his love of growing things and leaves Iceland.
Lobbi tells all this in his own voice, which is pretty matter of fact and frankly, a bit boring. He comes across as a very weak character, coming across as a little colorless and passive.
The book jumps around a lot and the story told without quotations around the dialogue, which I find to be irksome, but that might just be a personal preference - I usually won't even read books written that way as it takes a very talented writer to pull it off.
All in all, I think I would give this author another chance, since I'm such a fan of Iceland and foreign literature. But this particular book was a little bland for my tastes.
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Initial post: Jun 18, 2014 6:18:01 AM PDT
Thank you for writing such a truthful review. I was debating on whether to buy this book and have decided not to after reading this. I recently read another book, where in the first chapter the author did not use quotations during the dialogue either. I found it very hard to read.
I like a book that grips the reader right from the beginning. If it is at all boring or difficult to read I don't bother although I am glad I stuck with that particular book. I am not in school anymore or belong to a book club where reading a certain book is compulsary.
I also try to give a frank review when I read a book.
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