34 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Great story, poorly written,
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This review is from: The Expats: A Novel (Hardcover)
The plot had the potential to be very interesting, but the writing is poorly organized and incredibly confusing. He jumps from time and place abruptly, leaving the reader guessing which scene is being played. All he needed was to put a city name and date stamp at the transition points to give the reader a clue that the setting has changed. Also, an abundant misuse of the comma makes the writing clumsy.
Why so many great reviews? His wife is a senior exec at Random House and former Amazon exec. Great marketing makes up for a mediocre product.
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Initial post: Apr 12, 2012 6:16:47 PM PDT
I agree with you and thought it was a mess of a story. The idea had such great potential but the writing ruined it.
Posted on Jun 13, 2012 8:43:07 AM PDT
Gregory Bascom says:
I wondered at the full page, inside back cover of The New Yorker advertisement for a debut novel, and marveled at the wall to wall marketing blitz. Your revelation about the author's wife solves the mystery.
Greg Bascom, debut author of Lawless Elements, a suspenseful espionage/thriller,
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2013 7:17:40 PM PST
Mary McGreevey says:
I thought it was set out to be interesting, but became to unrealistic and convoluted, all coming in at the end with great confusion. Certainly not a top novel! I was astounded to see so many people have reviewed it! "ex-pats" as a title is titillating, appealing to those of us who fantasize about life abroad, but in fact this book is not much about their actual lives, except comments on the accoutrements of the ex-pat wives who become fulltime housewives, shoppers and coffee-drinkers. Definitely written by a man, who blitzed through the realities of really living over there; furthermore, if a woman was a CIA operative, she would have noticed things about her husband in all the idle time she had. I don't buy the idea that she would NEVER investigate her husband - all hubbies and wives notice what their partners are or are not doing.
Posted on Apr 13, 2013 8:19:45 AM PDT
Rae L. says:
Spoiler Alert . . . Time and date stamps couldn't be done in this book because the book's own timeline didn't make any sense. The author didn't seem to care if it made sense or not. How else could anyone explain why the father was glad for the timing of the move so the children could switch schools in between school years, yet after the move the following year the children were in kindergarten and nursery school? The author claimed to have been a stay-at-home husband for a while, in which case how could he have a character clean up a dropped jar of fruit nectar onto a stone floor in a kitchen and have it all cleaned up in fifteen minutes, including washing, looking for broken glass, and dealing with a foreign made vacuum cleaner with the labels in a foreign language? I agree with your one star review.
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