Customer Review

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dull Drama in the Dovecote, December 1, 2011
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This review is from: The Dovekeepers: A Novel (Hardcover)
This novel was disappointing, as I was hoping for a good, rich read. Alice Hoffman's subject is Masada, which provides all the drama and interest in this book. Too bad the writing is uninspiring and simplistic, the characters are cliches, and the book is long, and rather boring.

A good novel is more than just a good story- it must also be well crafted and well written. This book reads as if it were trying to simulate a translation from Hebrew to English, and as such seems to be at a sixth grade reading level, with boring, choppy, unimaginative and uncreative sentences. There are few (if any) flashes of brilliant writing- nothing glorious which makes the reader pause, re-read, and celebrate the joy of a well crafted sentence. Most of the magic in this novel is generated by the story of Masada itself.

Although I did not totally dislike this book, I found it did not live up to my expectations. Though I can appreciate the research, this is still a mere book, not a great novel. Why the tremendous hype, why the terrific reviews? Other readers not familiar with the story of Masada might be more inclined to give a more generous review (with more stars), mistakenly attributing the "wow" factor of the book to the author, and not to history.
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