Top critical review
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Boring, uneventful, one dimensional characters.
on March 12, 2013
There are a few things wrong with this novel.-- SPOILERS---
1. The timeline is awkward in order to hold back vital information, but it simply doesn't work. It makes the narrator unreliable.
2. The story is just simply unbelievable in every aspect. We are supposed to believe that Max did not actually launder money, that he is innocent, yet as soon as he is released from prison he knows exactly what to do and who to go to to launder the money and does. As an act of revenge, we are supposed to believe. That is only one unreal aspect of the novel. There are dozens like this. The first chapter he speaks about how he adores his son, is why he wants out, lives for him etc and then the son is only mentioned one more time in later chapters. His family relationships are like this as well. Dad is important in the 1st 1/3rd of the book but then only mentioned again one time.
3. The money. Max initially gets 150k and talks about how he is now "rich" what? I didn't use a calculator, but it seems as if he goes through this money in about a week. When he hits the real jackpot, he seems just as impressed with it as the 150k.
4. The relationship with Vanessa was just not well set up. We are told in the 1st half that he barely knows her, they share a few letters but that's it. When he gets out of jail however, the relationship goes from near strangers to intensely sexual and romantic and then she becomes a willing partner immediately. She leaves her job and does what he says and turns out that she was apparently in on the whole thing from the beginning, but that is never really made clear.
5. It's boring. Mind-numbingly boring with no action, dozens and dozens of pages where nothing moves forward.
6. None of the characters are really written so that you get to know them. Except maybe the one who gets the brunt of the punishment. The others, even Max, are 1 dimensional- unlikable and uninteresting.
7. The biggest issue is that this is told in 1st person for most of the novel- Max is the narrator. Yet, Max tells us nothing. He is keeping the secrets from us, the reader, in order to add mystery but this does not work. This is a confessional style narration and he should be confessing everything, not playing us.
It's just not a good book. I even bought the audio book AND the kindle and did the narration thing on the kindle HD because I could not stop falling asleep after 10 minutes of reading. It took days to get through this book- nearly 10. Gone Girl I finished in one setting, napping for a couple hours but then waking early because I.Could.Not.Stop.Thinking.About.It. Not my favorite book, but definitely a fast intense read. Hunger Games, I finished all three in a day.
This took 10 days because I fell asleep so much. I would have just tossed it, but I am not the type that can leave a book unfinished. No matter how bad it is. And this one was bad.