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on April 22, 2013
Having read most of David Guterson's book I was fully anticipating another exciting read, but once I discovered what 'the plot' was I found myself flicking the last 100 plus pages and was thankful when I reached the last one. Sorry David, but this 'effort' is nowhere near 'Snow Falling On Cedars!
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on January 12, 2014
Unlike, SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS, this novel was very dark and without any redemption at the end. The characters lacked any depth and were so awful that I almost stopped reading the book. But I wanted to give it a chance so I continued to read to the very bitter end. It was a novel I would not recommend. It left me feeling very depressed.
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on May 23, 2016
More like a wild John Irving novel than what I have experienced with guterson.
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on July 31, 2012
How often does this story happen in real life!! What a powerful intriguing read about a topic that should be discussed more openly. So superbly written. To say more would spoil your read.
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on January 18, 2012
Never read Oedipus Rex - went to music school and did not study literature so lots of the story was surprising to me. Although there were a few hard to believe moments I think Guterson did a great job bringing it back together. Just a good fun read! Glad I didn't read reviews or I would not have enjoyed it. Obviously it's not for everybody and here on Amazon there are many critics of this book that couldn't write a novel to save their life. I actually read a sample on my Kindle and it hooked me. I also think I would have been pretty happy to read only about the characters who appear early on in the book as there was something intriguing even though the father's escapades were twisted. I like characters, and hate cliches. Guterson's a masterful writer.
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on August 20, 2014
Cleverest book I have read in ages.Loved it.
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on August 8, 2013
David Guterson, the eternal flaming fountain of readable, engrossing stories. "Ed King" another can't-lay-it-down thriller. Having read them all, right here in the Northwest, I can only wish for him good health and a safe journey through a long, thriving career as storyteller extraordinaire. I look forward to a few more such treasures before I die.
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on November 11, 2011
When I first read the reviews of "Ed King" (your Amazon Vine Program reviews) I was discouraged and almost did not purchase the book. What a blessing that I did not go along with their negative opinions! Perhaps these reviewers have a great track record with Amazon, but they are way off the track with Guterson's book.

Guterson's writing in "Ed King" is almost flawless. I can think of only a couple places where I thought it could have been better. What he has created here is, first of all, a brilliant cultural history of the West Coast (at least) from the '60s to the present. Forget Oedipus for a moment. The book starts out in the summer of 1962 and relentlessly takes us through what we have lived or witnessed with remarkable insight and detail.

On top of what is already an exciting journey, Guterson has also brought us most of the Oedipus story. This is no small feat since he is dealing with utterly different cultures quite remote from each other in time. There are two huge problems in this project. One is effectively translating the crucial moments in the Oedipus story into reasonable facsimiles. The other is making the story yield the overall sense of tragedy commanded by the Greek play.

The first challenge is determining a reason for Ed's abandonment. Guterson's version is far removed from Sophocles' but it certainly fits into our cultural environment. He even gives Walter a threatening dream closer to the original. From that point onward, Guterson finds every opportunity available to parallel the story, including Eddie's early-childhood foot problems. The next dramatic moment is, of course, the killing scene. In this, Guterson does an unbelievable job of translating from Greek to American. It happens so fast it makes you gasp.

At this point in the book I wondered how he can possibly carry off the sphinx and the riddle --- to say nothing about the oracle's replacement by the Tarot Card reader. Well, if there was a sphinx, I did not see it but the riddle comes quite naturally in a lecture on statistics and betting odds. It fits the characters perfectly. From there onward it's a simple race to the tragic realization of who he is and what he has done. Like Oedipus, Ed is possessed by wanting to know the truth in detail and wanting to know it immediately. But Ed is far ahead of Oedipus in that field. He is, after all, the Search King. In the end, Guterson has masterfully connected Sophocles' tragedy with today's monumental digital hubris. We must have detailed genetic knowledge for everyone; all our records, including medical, must be easily accessed digitally; and there must be nothing left that we cannot know.

I do not like Ed King nor did I ever like Oedipus the King. Liking isn't the important issue. What is important, I think, is that Ed King is a tragic figure in our culture just as Oedipus was in his. But understanding him as a tragic figure requires more than understanding him simply as a character. The culture fills in the tragedy as much as the character himself does. Guterson has found a very interesting way of getting into a fundamental and potentially tragic aspect of who we are as an evolving people.
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on January 7, 2013
Good writing but too many coincidences. A modern version of Edipus so the ending is spoiled before you even start the novel. Since I live in the Seattle area it was fun to read about the area and about Portland.
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on March 18, 2013
Structure over substance. The author was clearly fascinated by the tale of the person who killed his father and married his mother, so he poses this situation in contemporary times. Pointless.
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