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Absent Landlord (6th edition): the chronicles of a crumbling house Paperback – February 18, 2014
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This book was provided to me for an honest review and I must admit that after I read the book description, I was expecting a comedy. This book was anything but humorous. I felt like I was reading something else entirely than what was originally described. There were a few similarities, but, it was not what I was expecting.
The book opens with a scene that lets me know right off that this is not a humorous book. I don't want to spoil the story for others, but the beginning was a very heavy way to begin any story.
Moving on from the original crisis, the story kind of lagged for me. It moved really slowly and I had to really concentrate to keep going with it.
I must admit that I was appalled that the residents of the house lived in such squalor and filth. I understand that this was part of the story, but the fact that it continued, and later was verified and excused, was a bit difficult for me to swallow. I just can't wrap my brain around anyone thinking that was okay for any amount of time.
Another thing I found distressing, was the killing of an innocent animal with no repercussions or punishments by a child.
We have enough disturbed individuals in our society as it is without putting more ideas in their heads, thinking it is okay to do to get what you want.
The house, itself, sounded fascinating in the descriptions that were passed on in tiny nuggets in the story. The way the author doled out the details of the house and the way it was constructed, along with all the special features that had been added to the house made me think the author was going to do something special with this information later in the book. Sadly this was not the case.
The author did a great job of making the characters believable. There were some characters that I really did not like at all and some that were quite charming. The interactions that took place between some of the characters were at time quite maddening. There were high levels of usury and manipulation. This was of course all part of the story line I am sure.
The ending of the book I must admit, I did not get at all. I did read the book twice to make sure I didn't miss anything. This particular story had two different endings. The first one, I felt was just thrown together and a bit ridiculous. The second ending I almost missed. I don't know if it is just the way the kindle formatted it, but it came after all the author's acknowledgements. I just happened to see it. That ending showed a little more thought and actually made sense. It looked to me like the author just threw the first choice in so they could say it was a book with two endings. I must admit I am not a fan of books with alternate endings.
As far as I am concerned this book has some issues that I didn't particularly like, but I can't hold my personal prejudices against it. The author did a really outstanding job of developing the characters to a believable level. They also pulled the story together after a rather sluggish start. The book was interesting and entertaining in a weird sort of way. Since I am not a fan of dual ending books, I can't really hold that against it either.
Between the outstanding characters and the issues I had with the book, I ended up giving this book 4 out of 5 stars.
The first rule is "respect the landlord." Can you show respect for someone you never see? For that matter, what are the tenants supposed to do when things go wrong? Well, one of the other rules is "pay whatever you can." So maybe you get what you pay for.
The reader of The Absent Landlord by Raw Spoon may be tempted to ask about God's goodness, or maybe God's fairness, or maybe even God's existence from time to time as the story unfolds. It isn't all pretty, although a pug dog and a lonely duckling make a few charming, and sometimes mystifying, appearances. Miss Muffin can't go anywhere without her bottles of oxygen, and she can't seem to find a safe place to rest. If Nayeli has a job, then why is she desperate to sell a cellphone case to someone who doesn't even own a cellphone? Can't anybody figure out how to fix the second-floor toilet? If God exists, why does he allow some people to have such hard lives?
When push comes to shove as you approach the end of the book, you get to pick the outcome you prefer. That is an unusual touch.
Somehow this story is simultaneously poignant and hilarious. After you read The Absent Landlord, you might be able to sing "Sometimes I feel like a Motherless Child," with a fervent rendering, but you may be chuckling at the same time. The characters are unique, and the emotional intensity is strong. After you read this story, you might just sit quietly somewhere for a while figuring it all out. It will be worth the time it takes.
I received a copy of this book at no charge in exchange for my review. I was not asked to give a favorable review. This review is my own opinion.
Absent Landlord is rich in characters, in the setting and in evoking emotions and thought from the reader. It is a story that I read very quickly, partly because I couldn't stay away from the book- I kept going back to it as soon as I could-sure sign there.
Set in an old run down house, the colorful tenants live together with all of their quirks, habits, secrets, successes and failures; they are provided for in different ways by an absent landlord no one knows- or do they?
It's a story where you can identify with the characters, get mad at the characters, feel sorry for the characters and wonder. It throws you in at the deep end and feels almost like a roller coaster ride in a good way. I found myself drawn to "what happens next?" which is a good thing when reading a book. The illustrations are beautiful and reflect what is happening in the story. if you like a book that: makes you think, makes you go back to a previous paragraph to re-read to see if your thinking is straight and is great fodder for discussion this is your book. I read this book cold, with no idea of what I was getting, based on title alone. I think that was a good choice and why it pulled me completely in by the end of the first page. We are all after a good story to connect with-this is it.
To the Author- thank you for this gift you shared with us.
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