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Who's Who in Hell: A Novel Paperback – August 12, 2002
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Pierced by the Sun
A gripping tale of murder and redemption by the author of Like Water for Chocolate. Learn More
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
I was given this book on my birthday and pretty much read it straight away. I was really intrigued by the title and the premise. I must say it took me a while to get into it, but after a while I could not stop reading Who's Who, until I finished it in one go.
I really wanted the actual compiling of Daniel's book to extend further into the novel, but that's not what it is really about. The relationship between Daniel and Laura is really the crux of the story. At times I was getting (annoyed) with it, but by the end I was hooked. Obviously I will not say what happens, needless to say I had no idea and could not stop telling people about it afterwards.
I have read a lot of books recently, very glutinous, but this one stood out becuase of the range of emotions that it produces. The final scene is amazing, I wish I could publish it here, but that would wreck the ending to a bloody brilliant novel.
But to leave it at that is a disservice to a fine piece of writing. Chalmers' clear strength is relating the emotional highs and lows of the main character, Daniel. There are several points during the story in which you feel intimately connected to Daniel.
The story spans several years the life of Daniel Linnel, a heavy drinking late-20's Brit. As his career shifts from amateur therapist to obituarist, he meets Laura, with whom he instantly falls in love. The rest of the story follows the couple's ups and downs and the resulting emotional rollercoaster ride Daniel takes.
Chalmers also succeeds in building strong characters outside of Daniel and Laura. One feels a particular bond with Whittington, Daniel's salty boss and Paul, Laura's estranged brother. On the other hand, one feels particular disdain for Kate, Laura's best friend and Mr. Jardine, Laura's father.
The attempts at comedy are largely successful, with a few duds thrown in. But sometimes we get the sense that he's trying a little too hard to concoct a funny antecdote.
The ending takes a rather dramatic and unpredictable turn, but it plays towards Chalmers' strengths successfully. A good measure of a successful novel is the strength of emotional response it elicits. This book will make you emotional.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this novel. The central love story between Daniel Linnell and Laura begins with notes of foreboding and constantly passes each difficult test... Read morePublished on October 11, 2007 by Richard L. Goldfarb
I agree with the person who says that this should have been a short story collection. There are some great moments, interesting characters, amusing vignettes, but they just fade... Read morePublished on August 29, 2003 by S. Charny
The protagonist is a twenty-something guy from Manchester, slightly depressed and cynical, with an unhappy childhood, living in London. Read morePublished on December 26, 2002 by D. P. Birkett