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Virgil Kindle Edition
"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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Virgil is a book with a lot of potential, but is still in need of development to be a fully rendered novel. There are some harrowing and beautiful scenes, but it's uneven in quality and it doesn't hold together well structurally. There is too much repetition and angst-ridden waiting about and not taking action. Throughout the whole book, I was waiting for someone to take action, to intervene. No one did, and their reasons for not acting didn't play well for me.
I also didn't understand the villains. Very little was offered in terms of motivation for their evil acts, and what little there was did not convince me. Even given that the villains don't have a perspective scene, I would expect the victims to have come to their own understanding of what they thought was happening.
That said, there is some fine writing, some beautiful and poetic lines and as I said earlier, the abuse is harrowing to read. Some of the dialogue is perfect. There's the potential for an excellent book in these pages.
The effects of years of sexual abuse of two boys is portrayed in a realistic, compelling manner. The characters Ezekiel and Nathaniel as well as the title character come to life on the page, and even the bit characters, like Hector, shine.
The plot is solid and keeps you turning the page! Once the author got me empathizing with the characters, I had to keep reading to find out what happened. Every time I started to lose hope for the main characters the author added a new twist and ratcheted up the tension.
My one complaint is that we don’t find out a lot about the background and motives of the parents themselves. The message seems to be that the parents are simply pure evil, and I have a hard time accepting that this extreme abuse would come out of nowhere. I’m curious to know what happened in the lives of the parents to drive them to these extremes. But not knowing certainly didn’t ruin the story for me.
Compelling and emotional, this story might not end up widely read due to the graphic content but if you can stomach the intensity, it is well worth the read!
Still, these same elements made it hard to put the book down. I found myself immersed in the story, feelings ranging for every character, villains I deplored, innocent heroes I couldn't help but cheer on.
As I said the narrative is very descriptive, beautifully written, yet lacking a certain je ne sais quoi.
Over all the story was compelling, and worth the read.