Tag: Journey

Dan Brown – Origin | Review

Title: Origin

Author: Dan Brown

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 473

Rating: 3.25/5

You know what you’re getting with Dan Brown, at least to a certain extent, although I do feel as though in this one, there were fewer twists and turns and a lot of the plot was more linear. There was also a twist at the end which was pretty easy to figure out, although I will admit that the motives had passed me by. It happens!

The main problem that I had with this book is that something happened at the end of the last book which really ought to have had repercussions. Instead, it wasn’t even mentioned. I guess that makes sense given Brown’s style, because he tries to make each of his books function as a standalone. And in all fairness, this one does work as a standalone – as long as you haven’t read the one that comes before.

What was cool was the way that this investigated artificial intelligence. Brown’s portrayal of it wasn’t particularly realistic, especially at the time it was first published, but if we give it ten or twenty years, we might not be far off it. There were also some interesting ideas about the ultimate fate of humanity – or to quote the book, “Where do we come from? And where are we going?”

They’re some pretty important questions, and I thought it was interesting to see how Brown – and his characters – approached them. I’m not sure whether I agree with their conclusions, or whether the science involved is even possible, but it was still a pleasant journey to go on. Sure, I got infuriated from time to time by Brown’s writing style, in which he sets up a mystery and then takes a dozen chapters to reveal the actual answer, but it also did its job and kept me reading.

What I would say is that it’s worth going out of your way to get a paperback copy if you can. I had the hardback and it was difficult to hold while I read reading it. Admittedly this is totally a firstworld problem and not one that everyone would have, but it did bug me a little bit and hamper my enjoyment. Actually, this may be one of those rare books where it would work better as an e-book or an audio book than when it’s physically in print.

All in all then, I’m glad that I finally picked this up, if only because I’m a completionist and I’ve read all of Brown’s other books. I’ll probably pick the next one up too, assuming there is one, but I won’t be pre-ordering it. I’ll try to grab it from a charity shop if I can. I’ve got to be honest, I fancy my chances. And that’s about all I’ve got.

Learn more about Origin.

 


Agatha Christie – Dumb Witness | Review

Title: Dumb Witness

Author: Agatha Christie

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 416

Rating 3.75/5

 

 

This was a pretty fun little Agatha Christie mystery, although I will also admit that my attention started to wander in a few places and so by the time that I got to the end, I’d lost all of the different threads and couldn’t really make a guess at what had happened. But with Christie, that’s almost not the point for me anyway – the journey is just as much fun as discovering the destination.

In this one, an old lady has a fall down some stairs, changes her will as she’s recovering and then dies soon afterwards. Of course, Hercule Poirot happens to be on hand and ends up poking his beaky little nose into things, and even though the doctor swears blindly that she died of liver disease, Poirot thinks otherwise. Of course, there’s always a chance that the doctor’s involved, too…

This book has everything that I’ve grown to know and love about Agatha Christie, and I really don’t think I can fault it other than the fact that it’s missing that vital little spark that turns an Agatha Christie novel into an Agatha Christie classic. It’s not too far off the mark though, and I also think it’s pretty accessible and not a bad place to start if you’re new to Hercule Poirot.

 

 

Of course, I’m not such a fan of Hercule Poirot as opposed to Miss Marple, and I’ve always found him a little annoying to read about. Here, though, he was bearable, and even though this copy of the book was over 400 pages long, it only took me a couple of days to whizz through it. It probably helped that I had a beautiful Harper Collins edition of it too.

There’s not too much more that I can say about this one, because it’s pretty bog standard for Christie and just what I’ve come to expect from her in the first place. It’s the kind of book where if you see it in a charity shop and you can pick it up cheap, I say go for it. It’s not a bad little introduction to Christie and her style, and it would work just as well as a standalone as any of her other novels.

All in all then, a pretty successful read and just what the doctor ordered. I like to read Christie books as palette cleansers. Hurray!

 

British writer of crime and detective fiction, Dame Agatha Christie (1891 – 1976). (Photo by Walter Bird/Getty Images)

 

Click here to buy Dumb Witness.