Tag: Bad

Agatha Christie – Towards Zero | Review

Title: Towards Zero

Author: Agatha Christie

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 192

Rating: 3.25/5

This book is one of Christie’s Inspector Battle books, and I’ve always found them to be a little weaker than the Marple and Poirot books, as well as just her general standalones. Unfortunately, Battle just isn’t a particularly gripping character, and so when he’s front and centre in one of Christie’s books, it’s a bit of a struggle.

I think part of the problem here was that the mystery itself also wasn’t particularly interesting, and so that left me just reading for the sake of reading even though the story and the characters were of only passing interest. I mean, it’s still alright, just not great.

Still, I should caveat this with what I always say about Agatha Christie, which is that even a bad Agatha Christie book is better than a good book by most other authors. It’s just a shame that I left this one until towards the end, because I was kind of hoping to go out on a high. And now I only have two more of her books left.

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Stephen King – Hearts in Atlantis | Review

Title: Hearts in Atlantis

Author: Stephen King

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 504

Rating: 3.5/5

This was just okay, but in many ways that’s a good thing because I’d been putting off picking this one up for quite a while. I’m not even sure why, although I suppose it’s because I never really hear anyone talking about it.

It’s essentially five different novellas (or perhaps in Stephen King’s case, short stories) which occur at different points in time but which all interlink. I think the book was published around twenty years ago, which in some ways is when King was at his weakest, but I think it’s worth picking up.

Actually, I think I enjoyed it more than If It Bleeds, perhaps because I’d built that one up in my head so much that when I finally got to it, it couldn’t live up to my expectations. Here, the opposite is true because I wasn’t expecting too much, and overall I think the two are pretty comparable in terms of quality.

What I did like here was the character work, and I thought the pacing was pretty good too because it felt as though something was constantly happening and that the story was constantly developing. I never felt as though it was moving too slowly, although occasionally I did get a little bored and find my attention wandering.

For the most part though, I was pretty happy with this book and while I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re new to King because there’s so much other great stuff out there for you to experience and explore, it’s not bad at all. Not great, and maybe not even good, but definitely pretty good and one that I’m glad that I finally finished.

I would talk about the individual stories here, but I’m going to save that for my YouTube channel. Instead what I will say is that the first piece, Low Men in Yellow Coats, was probably my favourite of the lot, in part because of the subject matters it deals with, including the pitchfork style mentality that some people adopt when they suspect someone of being a paedophile.

The other stories were good too, but that one had the advantage of taking up at least the first third of the book, and so it automatically stuck with me a little more than the others did. I also think that King is pretty good at writing child characters, and that was pretty evident here. And then there’s the added bonus that you get to watch that child as they grow up, which is also pretty cool.

And that’s about all I’ve got for you. I’d say that it’s a mid-tier Stephen King book at best, but that doesn’t make it bad. I’m also looking forward to watching the movie with Anthony Hopkins in it because it’s been sitting in my Netflix watch later” list for weeks. But now I’ve finally ticked it off and so now I can move on.

Learn more about Hearts in Atlantis.