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Train Wreck: A Novel Paperback – January 21, 2012
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
There's a danger of descriptives slipping into silliness, but I feel the writer is in control. I don't buy that all the travelers are in some way connected with one murder, but I am intrigued sufficiently by the characters and the promise of story shifts to want to read more. So far I like what I've read.
I really enjoyed this excerpt. I liked Nick, the main character, he seems very real and likeable, as do all of the characters. They are very fleshed-out and true. I enjoyed the descriptions of the characters. The author keeps things moving and lively. This is a book I hope to read someday. It would also make a great flick.
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Top customer reviews
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1) This almost certainly a first novel (albeit a great attempt at one).
2) This would have improved greatly with the help of an editor.
3) From the description, this sounds like it would be a very plot driven novel, and it is in some ways, but it never truly abuses the possibilities of the "gimmick" of the story.
Despite these criticisms, this was a great read that I was able to speed through quickly.
The characters, even being a little strongly typed, were characters who kept focus easily and their interactions with each other were extremely well written, enough that the characters themselves pushed the novel along by themselves, with very little help from the plot.
The conversations themselves were natural and the settings were beyond vivid; the settings were experiential.
Humor in this book occurs quite often and it is for the most part funny. A few jokes, however, fall flat or simply aren't right for the novel format, and I think things like this would have been picked out by a professional editor.
None of these "bumps" really held the novel from shining through, however. The reason I took a star away (If I gave a more precise rating, it'd be a 4.2/5.0) was because the premise had such potential, yet the plot literally on focuses on it approximately half the time (and that half isn't even always following the essential aspect of the premise - the idea that everyone has a "number" attached to them). If that was ironed out, this would definitely be a masterpiece of a first novel.
As it stands, it is a great first novel, one I would highly recommend others to read.
As the story unravels, we learn lead protagonist Nick Buchanan works for an insurance company that raises the stakes significantly. The Firm takes out life insurance policies on people and then arranges to have them killed, cashing in big time on the pay-outs.
Once Nick discovers he is essentially an accessory to murder, he tries desperately to quit The Firm, expose the insurance fraud and murders.
The characters are well developed, the dialogue crisp and funny at times and the theme of money having the power to corrupt those with weak morals or financial distress is poignantly true to life.
The flashback style, while rarely referencing any actual time sequence, was easy enough to grasp and does not detract from the story in any way.
Bennett Gavrish is a promising young author and I look forward to future books. A very good read from beginning to end!
If this is the starting point, I definitely look forward to seeing this author's work as it develops and matures throughout his next books.
Gavrish starts off his tale innocuously enough with his clean writing and subtle sense of humor. He is a keen study of human behavior and interaction. The dialogue rang true and had me giggling from the beginning. I was quickly drawn into caring about the characters, because of their very human flaws, and rooting for them, despite their flaws. And just when I began to relax and enjoy the ride, so to speak, suddenly I realized that there was much more to this than just a story.
The author's intelligent and intriguing layout of the insurance industry was masterful and provided a plausible premise. His interweaving of the character histories was creative and unique. And just like the Train Wreck after which the book is named, although you could see it happening, there was nothing you could do to stop it. Even the ending kept me guessing. I knew what had to happen, but it still came as a shock.
I have said it before, and I will say it again. I am a literary omnivore. And nothing has brought that fact home to me more vividly in recent months than reading this book! Bravo, Mr. Gavrish! I cannot wait for more!
Most recent customer reviews
I tend to agree with the majority on this story. For a young writer, it's a very interesting plot.Read more
I scour Amazon for a lot of .99 to $5 or $6 Kindle books to read. Most are by "part-time" authors who are publishing their own work for the first time.Read more