Customer Review

16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Overused Stereotypes And Plot Devices, May 23, 2008
This review is from: The Used World: A Novel (Paperback)
I admit I have only read one other of Haven Kimmel's books, THE SOLACE OF LEAVING EARLY, and I enjoyed that and thought it was well written with believable characters. Though THE USED WORLD has the same setting (apparently a fictionalized Muncie, Indiana and its surroundings) and Church of the Brethren minister Amos (and very peripherally his wife Langston) who are major characters in "SOLACE" also appear in this effort the books are quite different.

This book is filled with melodramatic, unbelievable plot lines, some borrowed from other sources, and characters who are either misunderstood, mistreated saints or the most awful caricatures of rural Midwesterners. In fact Kimmel writes with such utter contempt for those who shop at WalMart, eat at McDonalds and attend large fundamentalist churches that it was often difficult for me to continue reading. I will believe Kimmel has met and even known people from rural Indiana who commit these just mentioned transgressions but she seems to be unable to convey any empathy for or write about such individuals with any genuineness or respect for them as fellow humans.

Some portions of the book are well written enough but other segments are awkward and unclear and a little editing and rewriting would have been beneficial. A pet peeve of mine is how invisible rural working class Americans are in today's mass media. I do appreciate Ms Kimmel setting her book(s) among the ordinary folks of rural Indiana but I am disappointed by her inability to see beyond the usual stereotypes of residents of such areas at least in this novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 29, 2008 6:58:35 AM PDT
L. Jenkins says:
Appreciate your take on this book. Think I'll steer clear of this one! Thanks

Posted on Apr 3, 2009 1:09:54 PM PDT
S. McKinney says:
I didn't read your review until after I'd written my own, but it appears we have the same thoughts on this book. Kimmel gives one the definite impression that a person is only good, worthy, interesting and valuable if he or she is of a liberal mindset. It was disappointing to read of her hostility toward anyone who doesn't agree with her own pet convictions.

I thought "The Solace of Leaving Early" was an absolutely wonderful book. I'm so sad that this wasn't more like it.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2009 4:23:26 PM PDT
I read your very thoughtful review and it is excellent. It is always nice to find someone else agrees with your opinion about a book.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

3.9 out of 5 stars (36 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (20)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
$21.99 $17.35
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Boulder, CO

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,556