Tag: Mid-Tier

Agatha Christie – The Hollow | Review

Title: The Hollow

Author: Agatha Christie

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 224

Rating: 3.5/5

This is pretty much just your bog standard Agatha Christie book, but there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s also one of those books that, for me at least, is more about establishing a sense of place and time than it is about someone solving a murder mystery.

This is also a Hercule Poirot book, although the detective doesn’t necessarily get too much page time. For me, that’s no bad thing, as Poirot can be a little insufferable at times and so he’s generally best in moderation.

This was also a cracking little piece because of its dialogue, which made me chuckle quite a lot. It’s unusual for me to actually laugh out loud when reading a book, but it happened here and took me by surprise. Sure, the mystery itself isn’t one of Christie’s most gripping, but the dialogue and the setting more than make up for that.

Overall, I’d say that this is a decent enough Agatha Christie book, but it’s pretty mid-tier when you compare it to some of her big hitters. It’s worth a read and I would recommend it, but not for your first foray into her work. It’s more one for completionists or people who are reading the whole Poirot series.

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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.