- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday; 1st Edition edition (June 6, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780385543026
- ISBN-13: 978-0385543026
- ASIN: 0385543026
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7,213 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Camino Island: A Novel Hardcover – June 6, 2017
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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.
PS - And what the heck was the whole Denny side story about? He sold the manuscripts and then what - he was going to steal them back? Who knows and, more importantly, who cares?
An unhappy writer/adjunct professor was recruited to help get the manuscripts back. Sounds good, but she could not possibly be more dull. She whines her way through a flat plot, collecting intel on a bookstore owner suspected to having stolen the manuscripts.
Even as I'm writing this, I'm thinking, this could have been good!
It isn't. It feels like a half-hearted effort to meet a deadline. There is no suspense. There are no plot twists. There is very little resolution. It is impossible to care about any of the characters. Even the setting is off. The story is set in a fictional island near Jacksonville, yet it does not have any of the charm of that area. It reads more like a mash-up of Miami and Cape Cod.
Even with its odd beachy juxtaposition of a seaside Ritz Carlton and nearby nesting turtles, it is not worth adding to any list of beach reads.
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.