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Camino Island: A Novel Hardcover – June 6, 2017
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“Tasty . . . a fresh, fun departure . . . sheer catnip . . . a most agreeable summer destination.” —USA Today
About the Author
John Grisham is the author of thirty novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and six novels for young readers.
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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.
So what, you might ask, was good enough to earn the book three stars? Well - the basic storyline (minus the aggravating heroine) was fun. The theft, the things that led to the capture of some thieves, the underlying story of a man who turned a small bookstore into a fantastic business, and the well written discussions of various authors - known and unknown kept my interest. I'll admit that I'm not a huge fan of Hemingway and that group of like minded authors - and while I'm not sure it was intentional, Grisham turns them into somewhat humorous failures as human beings in spite of their adulation as authors. The author is a good writer and tosses imaginative nuggets throughout the story that made me laugh and want to keep reading, even if I wasn't fond of a few of the characters. I had no desire to stay up all night finishing the book, but I don't think it was meant to be an all night thriller - just a very pleasant read for lovers of books and book business.
I wouldn't buy this as a hardcover - but for a Kindle, or in paperback, or from your local library - it's a fun read for a book lover.
Add a very rare 20th century manuscript theft from a prestigious northern university (a school that people will tell you they went there without asking) and you have a great story that interlaces the island, the FBI and civilians who are determined to recover the manuscript.
The novel is a bulls eye on what it is intended to be, a fun read with a well-developed plot and JG's succinct but not abrupt writing style. The southern setting adds further realism to the character development. At the end you are so committed to the story and people, you hope the characters resurface in another JG book.
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