- 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: 7,205 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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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.
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.