- File Size: 808 KB
- Print Length: 352 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Sky Warrior Book Publishing, LLC. (July 31, 2011)
- Publication Date: July 31, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005FG1CJW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,990,707 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$16.95|
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2012: Midnight at Spanish Gardens Kindle Edition
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|Length: 352 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top customer reviews
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Prior to skyping, our discussion concerned the genre of the book. It is a fantasy but it is not Epic,High, or Urban. The writing is good and reads like literary fiction. There are no elves but there is a character named "Ariel" who may be a barista, a rebellious angel, a metaphor for change, or the guy who won't get that toilet fixed. Someone suggested the book is religious fantasy but spiritual fantasy may be more like it. It might be fantasy for people who don't want to think they are reading fantasy (thoughtful but non-dogmatic C.S. Lewis.)
This novel is written with multiple points of view and four (five?) of the characters experiencealternative versions of themselves. These alternative lives are the best part of the book. They represent the choices that everyone has to make during the course of our lives but in the heightened way of story. I would mark it as a literary success that you may not always agree with the choices the characters make - the writing is that strong.
Several of our members complained that the book was initially slow. I think that is because the author is nostalgic for the time and place and lovingly wants to recreate that for the reader. Our group talked about places that were special for us.
I found several of the characters to be underwritten. The Ellen/Alan section in particular is too short. It is thematically so large (how gender affects choice) that it could easily be a whole novel. However, the author does a good job showing how the family environment can change due to gender - and how that environment changes you.
A great book to stimulate discussion. I think it might be enjoyed by people who have read and liked "Replay" by Kenneth Grimwood Replay or "Glimpses" by Lewis Shiner Glimpses I bought another book by this author but haven't read it yet: The Secrets of Jin-shei
Or not - it could all be me presuming too much on shared experiences for making sense of what is a VERY interesting book, on a number of levels!
I really liked the premise: using an "end of the world" restaurant rendezvous of a bunch of old friends / lovers / adversaries, to explore alternative life possibilities for each of them, by agency of a - what? Angel? Sprite? Alien? Who cares; Ariel is a fascinating and enigmatic character, and an improvement on the greasy-haired original in the REAL restaurant. Which really did offer the finest range of alcoholic coffees in the known universe. But I digress: her version is as good as the original, if Americanised for a wider audience, and she has been very deft indeed in weaving together a handful of threads that very easily could have got out of control - and bringing it all to a a well-crafted ending.
Alma is an author at the height of her powers, who has taken on a task of serious proportions, and written it well. I look forward to meeting the Spanish Gardens again, somewhere - in this universe, or another.
One by one the friends are invited to step through the door of the wrong bathroom...to live the life they might have lived if they had made a different choice all those years ago.
The concept is brilliant and the writing is superb. You will love this one.
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