- File Size: 1335 KB
- Print Length: 354 pages
- Publisher: Circle of Light Books (May 16, 2014)
- Publication Date: May 16, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00KDY8V4A
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #987,465 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Eulogist Kindle Edition
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When I saw on Facebook she had written a book, I decided to check it out. After reading one sentence outlining the basic sentence I was intrigued, so I decided to read it. I purposely chose not to read anymore of the description, wanting to be surprised (I didn’t even notice the blood on the cover until after I was finished). I had no idea what to expect, either in where the story would go or the quality of writing.
I was a little concerned about how I would handle reviewing the book. When it comes to reviews I don’t believe in grade inflation, but at the same time I wasn’t looking forward to writing anything negative about someone I once knew and liked. I was hoping the book would be close enough to 4 stars that I could manage that. Then I noticed most of the reviews were 5-stars so even with a 4-star review I’d be dragging her average down. I went ahead and started the book, trying to figure out a way to tell Liz that it would probably be better if I didn’t post a review.
After a couple of chapters that all became a moot point. This is a gem of a book.
Before I go on to give this book the rave it deserves, I have two caveats. If you’re big on plots this probably isn’t the book for you. The plot for the most part isn’t suspenseful, but based on the amount of foreshadowing in the book I think that’s what was intended. It’s there to serve as a stage. Secondly, most of the secondary characters in the book aren’t developed, with the ‘bad guys’ especially coming across as cardboard stereotypes.
This doesn’t matter because this is Charlie Sandor’s story. Ms. McKinney-Johnson has created a flawed and credible protagonist with interesting insights and a clever sense of humor. I loved how she created such a fully realized engaging and fascinating character. She’s obviously done her research on Charlie’s occupation as an Insurance Fraud Investigator as well as his sideline of house-sitting and his titular hobby giving eulogies. She writes convincingly from a man’s point of view; there were at least two occasions where I was reminding myself this book was written by a woman.
What I look for most in a book is good writing and this book is full of it. I admired how skillfully the author wove humor, entertaining anecdotes, and interesting facts in to the narrative. I loved a lot of the phrases Ms. McKinney coined such as ‘bio-kids’ (as a way for foster kids to refer to the real children in a family), ‘Kurt Vonnegut absurd’, ‘feminist purgatory’ and ‘funeral fling’. I liked her original similes such as comparing the underuse of one’s brain to someone using a Ducati motorcycle to tool around town.
My only regret is that I read the book in a day and a half. I wish I had taken more time to savor it. This is Ms. McKinney-Johnson’s first novel. Her website says she is planning on turning The Eulogist into a series. I look forward to reading the next one (and at a more leisurely rate), but she’ll have her work cut out for her trying to top this one.
Charlie is a fascinating man with the really odd hobby of attending funerals for people he has never met before and then stands up to eulogize them. He manages to ascertain very telling details about their life after speaking with the other guests in a very short amount of time. He crafts lies about the dead person and on this occasion, the results draw him into a web of deceit and danger. The old adage, “liar, liar, pants on fire,” ran through my head as I read the book.
I was so drawn into the story that I managed to miss my stop on the light rail train on my way to work the next morning which made me late for work. That rarely happens to me so I would say The Eulogist more than kept my attention. It was easy for me to see this man in my head and to think about his weekend habit and I wanted to meet him. I could not wait to see what happened next.
When I finished the book, I was really upset by its ending. Not because the ending was bad by any means, but because it was over. Imagine my pleasure when I realized that the author intends to tell more stories about Charlie’s exploits in future books. This character and the story are perfect for serialization and I can’t wait to see where she takes him next. It’s a great premise and demands to be translated to the big or small screen.
I hope Ms. McKinney Johnson is already writing the second installment of Charlie’s clandestine escapades. This book is at the top of my gift-giving list for my mystery loving friends and family.