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Wit's End Hardcover – April 1, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Beth Gutcheon, Newsday
What strikes one first is the voice: robust, sly, witty, elegant, unexpected and never boring. Here is a novelist who absolutely comprehends the pleasures of imagination and transformation.
Margot Livesey, The New York Times Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The plot that drives the story flows quietly; it's the sparkles and sallies that make this story enchanting. Like the Jane Austen Book Club, this is not a book to be rushed through.
What I liked best about the book - and I liked a lot of things - was the author's voice. The absurdities of the story are the absurdities of everyday life, observed by a master and reported in a deadpan voice; I frequently found myself chuckling. (It's a book that elicits chuckles rather than guffaws.) The characters (dachshunds included) are drawn with affection and an eagle eye. Rima, the protagonist, was good company.
It's got a great sense of place: the beach town of Santa Cruz, the decrepit ranch, the interesting Victorian mansion, Wit's End, and the intricate doll-houses relating to the murder mysteries of A.B. Early.
The mysteries driving the plot are interesting, but aren't the story; which is why it doesn't matter that there is no case. To me, that was about Rima coming to terms with the loss of her father, and even more, of her beloved younger brother. And yet, despite the tragedy at its heart, this is not a tragic book. It's a story of how one goes about surviving: with humor and heart.
The majority of the plot focuses on Rima becoming embroiled in her own "Maxwell Lane" mystery, making it sometimes difficult to tell what is "real" and what is fantasy.
During Rima's quest to find out about the relationship between Addison and her deceased father, Rima finds herself becoming a detective with the help of Addison's fictional detective, Maxwell Lane.
Much of the plot centers around letters written during the early times of Addisons career from a woman named Constance Wellington, who lived in Holy City - a transformed cult. The reader soon finds that Addison is quite obsessed with cults.
Most of the time, Rima is a self-pitying woman who continues to mourn the death of her brother, Oliver, who's been dead about four years. Personally, I found Rima the least likable character of the bunch, but it didn't interfere with the reading of the novel.
Fowler interlaces humorous characters (with Addison Early, herself, and other secondary characters) while still making them appear as real as can be. The commentary about online blogs and "everyone being a writer" (through Addison) is hilarious and oh-so true.
The plot ties together neatly at the end, but also wants you to hope for more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Probably the worst book I've ever read...no point to it whatsoever, no substance, nothing happens and strange in an uninteresting sort of way.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Funny, smart, great characters, great narrative voice, completely compelling, unusual -- in the best way -- at every turn.Published 3 months ago by Potatoes
I really really enjoyed this book, the characters were interesting, no one was cliched, intelligent... Read morePublished 13 months ago by K. Lexx
Imaginative, filled with quirky characters, hard to put down. Way better than her Jane Austen book, but I thought the same of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, too.Published 13 months ago by Jerio
I read The Sweetheart Season about ten years ago and then We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves a few months ago. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Roxanne
I read this because I loved "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves." It's not bad, but it's just not very engaging. Read morePublished on April 18, 2014 by pistachio
Ms. Fowler' s wry humour is a delight. Her characters are people I know in my life. I am not a fan of mystery novels, but this mystery kept me curious til the very end. Read morePublished on February 28, 2014 by Margaret Muth
Pretty good story. Odd ending. If you know Santa Cruz you will love this book. If you love a murder mystery you will be amused.Published on August 2, 2013 by Kid
Having enjoyed the author's previous books, I expected this one to also be an enjoyable read. But it proved anything but. Read morePublished on August 26, 2011 by B. Fallon