Random House LLC
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Camino Island: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 304 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The characters really drive the novel, and I found them very engaging. Mercer, Bruce, Noelle, and the supporting cast are all interesting and fun, and carried the novel even more than the plot, which was solid but could have used a little more development in a few spots. I was originally expecting a few more "thriller" elements, but I'm actually glad that Grisham did not include chases or high suspense, because I think they would have weakened the story in the end. The book is consistent in plot and tone, and I read it straight through with no desire to take a break.
On the whole, this is a solid and enjoyable read, and definitely one of Grisham's best efforts in recent years.
Okay, first the good parts of the book, starting with Grisham's always readable prose, interesting plots, and just plain good story-telling skills. I always finish any of his books I've started and have read everything he's written, so for me, Grisham has a good track-record. This story kept me entertained throughout, and the ending was wonderful.
Now for the not-so-good parts of the book, I won't say bad, because Grisham probably couldn't write a bad book if he tried, starting with the lead character Mercer. She's as boring as one of those perfect characters out of a pulp-fiction-romance-chic-lit novels. She's slim and fit, with no visible means of exercise which at 31 does NOT happen, she wrote one wonderful, critically acclaimed first novel and then quit her tour because no one came to the first two signings(so what? You were supported by a real publisher, something most writers only dream of, stop being a baby and get out there and do the work), she gets paid and sleeps with someone she's ready to send to jail(no moral compass, yet she talks about her vampid sister's obsession with material things),she whines about how her sister's college was paid for while Mercer only got one year out of her dad before he went broke, and then says she dutifully sees him once a year and whines again about how they have nothing in common and he only talks about himself. What? Mercer is the classic example of a narcissist. I could not like her for a single second. Happily, the other characters are fresh, funny and amazing, and worth reading the book for.
If you love books, which I'm assuming most people who read even this review are, this is a fun book. I loved the writers in the books, especially the lesbians who write romance novels. Perfect. And the bookstore owner should have been the main character. The thieves are boring and I almost quit the book after the first couple of chapters of those four. Boring.
But in the end, this is an entertaining, well-written book that taught me something about the book world and I'm glad I read it.
1. I had to double-check several times to make sure it wasn't an abridged version.
2. I also, seriously, double-checked to make sure it was a John Grisham novel.
Ok, the laundry list:
1. This book was begging for a subplot about the circumstances around grandma's death. Characters were introduced and the set-up was there.... and then, just nothing.
2. Our protagonist was milk-toast. You neither hate nor like her much.
3. There was seriously NO intrigue, no twist, no turns, no suspense, no mystery... just boring and obvious.
4. No cleverness factor. You can't write a heist novel and have no clever heist things happening. The one or two attempts were pretty weak and again - obvious.
5. Did I miss something? The way the story played up the question of whether or not the Cable's were married made you think it would eventually be relevant to the plot. It wasn't. Very odd.
6. The dangerous aspect of one of the thief's was weird. Early on you think he will factor into the plot on the suspense side of things. He ends up being one more character who kind of disappears from the book, for most of it.
7. I thought it was kind of strange we never had any interaction with the sister.
8. Terrible, terrible ending. It fit the rest of the book though. Anti-climactic and boring.
9. The guy running on the beach? Character sort-of introduced, and then.... nothing.
This book was so short. Makes me think the intention was originally for a longer book and to cover more ground but for some reason it got slashed down to a "short" story. That would help explain the oddness of things, people, etc., that were briefly introduced and then never mentioned again. would have needed to be twice as long to cover the ground it teased it would. If you're going to write a short heist story, it's got to be tight, clever and interesting. This book was the opposite.