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Customer Discussions > Mystery forum

Mystery of the Month for 1st October 2012 TURNING ANGEL by Greg Iles

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Posted on Nov 5, 2012, 5:33:51 PM PST
Do you think the present tense of the story was what made the difference? I wondered if it didn't make it more "immediate" and therefore the unbelievable was just too unbelievable. At least in past tense one is separated by time and so unbelievable is more tempered.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2012, 12:52:26 PM PST

I'm already compiling a list of possible discussion books.

Posted on Nov 5, 2012, 12:38:33 PM PST

I'm funny about suspension of disbelief. There are lots of novels where I'm perfectly willing to go with the flow and just enjoy it, but somehow TURNING ANGEL just didn't do it for me. Maybe it was because it was supposed to be so "this is what is happening today." I know part of it was the complications piled on complications that kept it going for way too long.

I think it'll be a good idea to wait until spring before we think about another go-round of discussion. But we all need to be making lists as we read of books that would be good for discussion and that we would be willing to moderate discussion on.

Linda S.

Posted on Nov 4, 2012, 3:44:31 PM PST
Keefer, I think I might have liked the book better than Linda - and that is only because I don't have to believe what I'm reading. At least not this time. In discussion, I could see your points, Linda, about the suspension of disbelief. But while I was reading, didn't mind them. (I'm shallow, aren't I...)

I was delighted to pinch-hit for James on this one. But I'm glad to put it to bed. (And truth be told, I'm kinda glad we're on hiatus for a bit.)
Thanks, everyone!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012, 10:56:16 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 5, 2012, 8:49:53 AM PST

I'd rate it 4 star overall. Very good and interesting read. Well written and good pacing, detail, etc. I thought it overly long though and some unnecessary detail. Could have been tighter edited.

My last word on this book. Put it to bed. Too many other good ones out there. Back to THE JEFFERSON KEY. Thrilling!

Excellent discussion guys.

Posted on Nov 4, 2012, 10:44:51 AM PST
Keefer and all,

For me, TURNING ANGEL was probably a 3.75 or 4 (B- or B). I didn't like the unnecessary graphic content; I thought it would have benefitted from editing--it ran too long, dealing with too many issues. There were several parts that I found inherently improbable (the speed with which Drew was brought to trial, Cyrus keeping Penn alive, Drew and Ellen continuing to live in Natchez). It was a good book for discussion.

Thanks to all who took part and to our excellent moderators.
Linda S.

Posted on Nov 4, 2012, 10:13:32 AM PST
L. M. Keefer says:

How would you rate this book on the star method? 3-4-5 star?

I'd rate it 4-star for me; I liked it, but didn't love it due to graphic content. However, for technique and all 5-star. For a group read 5 star. We got some great discussion out of it.

Wonder what you all thought before we put it to bed....

Posted on Oct 31, 2012, 8:00:57 PM PDT
I think taking off at least through the holidays is a good idea, even if we decide to go with another set after the first of the year.

It would be good for everyone to start thinking about possible books for when we do resume.

Posted on Oct 31, 2012, 7:43:26 PM PDT
Taking a break from discussion might be good. We could also ask people to recommend some books for future discussions. We also need more volunteers to come forward to chair these discussions so the same people don't have to do it all the time.

Posted on Oct 31, 2012, 3:07:01 PM PDT
Thank you, Linda

Posted on Oct 31, 2012, 2:58:03 PM PDT

We look at mysteries, but we've also read THE HELP and THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY. Main criteria are (a) available in both audio and print versions (Kindle is nice but not an absolute requirement) and (b) looking interesting to read and to discuss, remembering that we do have male as well as female readers. So most any good book is a potential. Most of us don't read in just one genre anyway.

I know Barb will be glad to take suggestions, then we decide on about nine or ten potentials, and everyone gets to vote on their preferences. Top three books are the next three we read and discuss.

Getting moderators had become a problem, which was why we'd thought about not doing another round of discussion books right away.

Linda S.

Posted on Oct 31, 2012, 2:29:20 PM PDT
Okay. I like recorded books as well. For what are y'all looking?

Posted on Oct 31, 2012, 12:49:03 PM PDT

Since we have several people, including Barb, who prefer listening to reading, you might be thinking about some good possible books that are available in both formats. When we start back, Barb'll ask for suggestions.

Linda S.

Posted on Oct 31, 2012, 12:43:35 PM PDT
Thanks, I am looking forward to it.

Posted on Oct 31, 2012, 12:28:06 PM PDT

There hasn't been a next book chosen. Since getting moderators has been a problem, we (Barb, I, and others) thought we might let the dedicated discussions rest for a bit. When Barb is better with us, we can discuss it then.

Linda S.

Posted on Oct 31, 2012, 12:10:04 PM PDT
WHat's the next book?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012, 12:08:20 PM PDT
I wished he didn't give away the plot so much. OTOH, I really liked that breathless pace at which he kept me reading.

I always like authors who create a world for me with which I can totally believe. Ruth Rendell and Barbara Vine and Lawrence Block do it always.
I have now read 2 more Iles books and I think he will keep doing it. It's a real gift,

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012, 12:04:52 PM PDT
Yes. They are fun to make and freeze well.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012, 1:56:23 PM PDT

I know. I was just joking. Fair to warn people. I usually do in reviews too for the squeamish. I've seen and reported on lots of bad stuff so reading about it in novels doesn't upset me. The only thing I really don't like to read about is pedophiles. I wrote a story about a pedophile priest once and the Catholic Church responded to the media storm by transferring the man to another diocese across the country. Nothing like moving your problem to another jurisdiction instead of dealing with it.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012, 1:50:33 PM PDT
James, LOL - you may not have a problem with it. It made me squirm a bit at times. Based on what Keefer has said on more than one occasion, I just want to warn her away because I know she'll hate it.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012, 1:37:18 PM PDT

Now you make me want to read THE DEVIL'S PUNChBOWL.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2012, 1:34:19 PM PDT
Color me tweaked! ;-)

I've mentioned this before, but I'm going to repeat; based on what you said about the twisted sex and the detail of description, Keefer, DO NOT read THE DEVIL'S PUNCHBOWL. I'm just sayin'...

Posted on Oct 28, 2012, 8:27:38 AM PDT
Overall I enjoyed the book. Isles is a good writer -- good pacing, descriptions, character, dialogue, etc. Some of the sexual content, especially that with young girls, disturbed me a bit -- borders on pedophilia, a subject I abhore. But it is real life.

I thought the novel overly long and thought tighter editing and writing could have cut it by 60 or more pages, some unnecessary detail, imho. Still, this is the third Greg Isles novel I've read and it won't be the last.

Posted on Oct 27, 2012, 10:20:47 PM PDT
L. M. Keefer says:
Kathy and all:

Yes, I liked the imagination and excellent pacing of the book--action all the time and interesting characters. Very effective storytelling and original.

Re you saying: "Isn't it here that were safe to explore ideas we could never act on in life?"

Uh, who says the ideas we explored in here we could never act on in life? I'm thinking of having an affair with my doctor or
a 17-year-old.

Just kidding--thought Pollyanna needed a little tweaking tonight.

I didn't like all the sexual content in here--not that I'm a prude as you know--but I guess I prefer my mysteries straight up.
More intellectual sleuthing. I like it when the detective has a love life, but not twisted sex.

I think the book would have been just as good without all the sensational descriptions and occasional lurid details. For me, it would have been better. But he's appealing to a different audience I suppose. I guess I prefer more classic detective fiction: Le Carre, P.D. James, Michael Connelly...but this author is an excellent writer and storyteller. He has a lot of talent and appreciated some of the depths of the characters as revealed in the speeches....

Posted on Oct 27, 2012, 9:20:32 PM PDT
I liked being compelled to turn the page and keep reading. I'm torn about the tweaking. On the one hand I wish parts of the story were more believable. (Penn's relationship with Mia, for one thing.) But on the other hand, where is it written that fiction has to be believable? Isn't it here that were safe to explore ideas we could never act on in life? So I'm torn.
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Discussion in:  Mystery forum
Participants:  10
Total posts:  236
Initial post:  Sep 17, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 5, 2012

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