- File Size: 664 KB
- Print Length: 236 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1539787672
- Publisher: Double Dragon eBooks (October 27, 2016)
- Publication Date: October 27, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1771152788
- ISBN-13: 978-1771152785
- ASIN: B01MQ20QV9
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #649,075 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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|Print List Price:||$16.99|
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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I'm generally a literary monogamist, reading only one book at a time. But occasionally, when I'm not enjoying something but really want to finish it, I'll let myself read a second book too. In these cases, I tend to read a chapter or two of the book I'm struggling with, a whole other book, another couple chapter or two, then a whole other book, etc. How many books I read before finishing the first one can serve as a barometer of how much I'm not enjoying the primary book.
In this case, I read five other books and listened to one audio short story. I found I could barely struggle through a single chapter before I wanted to run off and read something else. And the problem wasn't so much the story, it was the writing.
The writing style is stiff and the dialogue especially so. Characters use names and "my dear," "my darling," "sweetie," that sort of endearment far, far, far too often. And they all talk like they're 80, despite being in their late twenties.
Editing is also a bit of a mess. I mean, there are errors in the synopsis, so you can easily imagine how many are in the book itself. Plenty, even if you don't count how often a space is included before the final punctuation in a sentence. (Why?) It's still easily readable, but it's a distraction in a book that was already barely holding my interest.
There are a number of inconsistencies in the narrative and I dislike how anyone who isn't supposed to be from Canada (there's a character from Serbia and one from Jamaica) speaks in choppy, child-like, non-sentences, even if they were supposed to have lived in Montreal for decades.
Lastly, the book just feels scattered. You have a woman with a mysterious curse/gift. She's had it for 15 years, her whole family has it, but she suddenly decides, right now, to find out what it's about. Why now? Why not any time in the past? The main character Vi just kind of coasts along asking random questions of random people and getting random answers. No one expresses surprise, or any real notable emotion at all at her oddity (people needed to be shocked and they weren't, not of them were). Characters pop up and are given fairly significant page time that don't seem to contribute much to the narrative and then there is a sudden, unearned, reprieve from a minor side character. I never felt the book had any sort of peak and I was basically bored.
The glossary was a nice touch, but it was hardly necessary for four words. I did like the idea behind the book and that Vi had a lesbian experience (even if it or the fact that her character didn't seem the sort for sex outside her monogamous relationship was explored), but I'm afraid it wasn't done well enough to pull off the meaningful story it set our to tell. Which is a shame; characters who happen to live normal Jewish lives are so rare I really hoped to see them well represented.
Note: I won a copy through Goodreads.
*Edited to correct a typo after the author snakily commented to point it out, comparing editing a book review to editing a published book and working hard to discredit the review in general. I don't know about other people, but from this reader's perspective that just looks bad. I disliked the book, sure, had some criticisms that were mine to make, but was still willing to give the author credit for creating a story that others might enjoy. I had no issue with the author himself. But he's just shown himself to be thin skinned and petty, never a good look on a professional author.
This book has memorable characters who are all very likeable regardless of their portrayal. I particularly liked Vi and truly felt her turmoil with her unique but terrible condition, wanting to so much live a normal life without hurting anyone.
This is a Jewish based book but even though I'm not Jewish and am unfortunately a little ignorant of the religion I didn't find it an issue at all and it wasn't judgmental or intrusive - there's even a small glossary at the back to help with any of the odd words you may not understand. There's twists and turns along the way and although primarily a paranormal book it doesn't come across as too unbelievable like some.
The descriptions of the area of Montreal were very informative and interesting and fitted into the story seamlessly.
I totally enjoyed reading into this fascinating world and pleased I had the opportunity to do so as it may have passed me by otherwise and I would happily recommend this book and the very imaginative Philip Mann. I look forward to a sequel to this in the future.
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