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Showing 1-10 of 102 reviews(1 star, Verified Purchases). See all 9,903 reviews
on May 23, 2010
I didn't read this of my own choice, but for my book club. Another member chose it. Those who said they loved it said it was because it was such an easy and quick read. If that's all you require of a novel, this fits the bill.
The character of Aibilene and her relationship with Mae Mobley is the best drawn in the book. I believe that's because it's what the author knows best. Her presumption to speak for the maids doesn't ring true. She is not confident enough to give Hilly any redeeming qualities at all. She's the villain so she must be completely despicable.
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on September 19, 2011
I started reading the book but was put off because of the simplified language
used purposely and the lack of action in the book. Also the psychological part
of the book was not to my liking. I stopped reading after about 100 pages and
in the process lost the money I paid for it. I do not understand the many positive
reviews. ??????
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on July 5, 2016
I wanted to read this for quite a while. I finally got the chance and I couldn't even get through the first chapter. Why the author felt the need to use the vernacular she does is beyond me. I'd imagine the story is more than likely wonderful, but having to keep going back to reread a sentence in order to comprehend what we're being told is rather distracting. I can see an influence of Harper Lee, in that she uses a similar tone in To Kill a Mockingbird, but not as poorly written as to be nearly illegible.
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on June 10, 2010
Stockett used a different methodology in telling the story rather than the usual narrative: chapters in the voice of four major characters. When one grows accustomed to this, it is easy to follow. I have few negative criticisms about Stockett's style.

She does, however, fail at the NUMBER ONE rule for writers: Write What You Know. It's risky business, at best, for an individual to write intimately about a race of which she is not a member and, therefore, couldn't possibly have any first hand "inside scoop." Her white characters aren't nearly as "regional" as the black women; The Help speak in dialects perhaps reserved for talking in front of Massa and the Missus.

1200 reviewers have expressed all this prior to my review; for specifics, read their's. This book is hyped as being the new TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. To that I say: B.S. Stockett's talent for integrity, nuance, atmosphere, and competing on that level may not develop in one lifetime.
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on August 30, 2011
This book doesn't come close to getting into the real stories behind the "Help" in the 1960s. The Plot uninteresting and in parts unbelievable. The story about the Pie is just plain stupid and an insult to anyone reading the book. I only purchased because a family member suggested it. I will never jump on the bandwagon again and read a book that pre-movie hype is the only thing going for it.
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on April 28, 2011
I rarely trash books, but this is a week of reading I will never get back. The writing style of the author is almost child like. Every second sentence starts with I. "I walk in the room. I see the coffee. I look out the window." Absolutely no originality in writing style at all. How this book ever got to print is beyond me. My 7 year old even laughed at it. The only good thing I can say is that it's over.

Of course the question why did I bother finishing it. I guess I was hoping for a strong end, but it doesn't happen. Even the story is so predictable. The characters are very weak and it doesn't seem to me like the author did very much research when I compare to other such novels. I use the word novel in this book lightly.

What amazes me about the reviews is the fact that so many people gave it such a great review. I think the potential for a great story was there, but it never really grips. Usually at the end of a book I am on edge, but this book just peters out like a slow cancer.
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on August 2, 2011
Well, I guess I said it all in the title. The author of The Help does a good job drawing the characters of two black maids; their personalities are clear and vibrant. I don't know if their dialect is authentic or not, but it's witty, clever and evocative. The white characters are pale in every sense of the word; stereotypes all. The love story is right out of Harlequin. The plot is preposterous. I can only speak for the first half of the book. In the middle, the pacing slows down to a crawl with nothing to reward the reader for sticking with it. I'm out.
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on March 5, 2012
A delightful read which chronicles life in Mississipi as it was.Opens the lid on so-called "high society" and the way they treat those that bring up their children and run their homes.Distinguishes between the domestic helpers who simply accept their lot in life,and those who have the courage to stand up.Wonderful descriptive writing.
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on July 20, 2011
Hattie McDaniel, the Academy-Award winning actress who played Mammy in Gone with the Wind reportedly once said: "Why should I complain about making $700 a week playing a maid? If I didn't I'd be making $7 a week being one." I guess this was what the actors were thinking when they agreed to be in the movie version of this crap.

With Aibileen (and Constantine) behaving at times like Uncle Remus from Disney's "Song of the South", The Help recycles negative innuedo and caricature of how some whites believed blacks thought and behaved even while under great duress. The happy go lucky, willing to slam their own culture for a laugh, smiling through their pain domestic is in full bloom in the book. It's important readers note, the white characters don't talk negative about their men or their culture with the same racial slant that Stockett uses for her primary black characters. At times Aibileen and Minny's commentary on their lives and associates is so degrading, it reads as if they'd rather be anyone other than who they are.

Bottom line: Kathryn Sockett is a white woman who grew up in the South with black help. As long as no one thinks it's anything other than a privileged white woman's take on what it must have been like to be black domestic help among privileged white people, then there's no debate.

However, what I've heard from the privileged white women who are buying this book is what a great thing Stockett has done for the voice of the black maid and that's about as deep as it gets. What I hear is "We really DID love our maid, Eddie Mae, and she LOVED us" "she took CARE of us!!" and "We have always been so GOOD to our help, we give them so many extras!" My favorite line is "You better watch out your help really KNOWS more than you think." It's just a story no more than a beach read, and not a very good one at that. The fact that this book has gotten so much ink as a serious work of fiction is appalling. It is poorly written, embarrassingly trite, and condescending to literate people. I am embarrassed that anyone thinks that narrative has any historic merit. If The Help turns out to be a jumping off point for the REAL story of what it was like to be black in Mississippi in the 60's well, then that would make it worth something.
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on February 26, 2012
This book was selected foe a book club read. It is not a book I would otherwise have selected nor is it a book I feel has increased my knowledge or left me a better person for having read it. At best I would rate it as a "meh"... WAY too many other good books out there.
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