Tag: Spoiled

Agatha Christie – The Seven Dials Mystery | Review

Title: The Seven Dials Mystery

Author: Agatha Christie

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 192

Rating: 4/5

I was taken by surprise with this one, and that’s a good thing. I’ve been getting through the last few unread Agatha Christie books on my pile and so I have a sort of automatic tendency to assume that I’ve left the worst ones until last. That was definitely not true in this case.

Weirdly, for the first time in my life, I found myself relating to the murder victim in Agatha Christie book, mainly because he was something of a spoiled young man who had a habit of sleeping in late. The core plot basically revolves around a plot that some of his friends hatch to plant a bunch of “alarumclocks beneath his bed to wake him up nice and early.

For me, this is in the top 20% Christie books, and that’s saying something. There’s a lot of good characterisation here, a fun little mystery for you to enjoy and just overall a lot of that classic Christie goodness. You can tell she was in her prime.

Learn more about The Seven Dials Mystery.

 


Carlos Ruiz Zafon – The Shadow of the Wind | Review

Title: The Shadow of the Wind

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 522

Rating: 2*/5

 

Carlos Ruiz Zafon - The Shadow of the Wind

Carlos Ruiz Zafon – The Shadow of the Wind

 

Well I guess the short and simple version here is that I was disappointed by this. You ready for the long version?

This book had its pros and cons, and I can totally see why a lot of people like it. At the same time, though, I’m also surprised I haven’t heard more people giving it negative reviews. For me, it was pretty dull and I found myself repeatedly zoning out and losing interest.

Part of the problem is from the main character, Daniel, who made a lot of decisions that I didn’t agree with. He developed an unhealthy obsession for someone, let himself into their house and walked in on them having sex, and then later he started sleeping with someone who was engaged to a dude in the army. He just acted like a bit of a douche throughout and I found it hard to really care about him. He was spoiled, entitled and the kind of protagonist where I just want to see them fail.

In fact, the main problem that I had with this book was the fact that it was like watching a bad magician. I could tell when I was supposed to feel excited or scared or to laugh at the book, but the fact that I could tell I was supposed to do it made me less inclined to actually do so. It was like being in the studio audience for an unfunny comedy and feeling awkward when they flashed up big “laughtersigns.

 

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

 

Sure, there were bits here and there where it was beautifully written, and it’s a very “quotablebook. But that’s not what I look for when I read something, and there’s no point being able to write decent sentences if the book as a whole just bores someone to tears. I wouldn’t have bothered to even finish reading it if I’d been reading it by myself, but because it was a buddy read and I’d organised it, I felt as though I had to. But it didn’t get any better.

And we’re now getting to the point at which my review is resembling the book, because I don’t have anything else to add here but I have another 150 words to write to meet my word count. For those of you who didn’t know this, my word count for my reviews matches the page count of the book, and so I write longer reviews for longer books.

You could condense this review to 300 words and it would be better. Which is kind of funny because you could condense the book to 300 pages and it would be better for it, too. Instead, it just felt bloated and a chore to read, and I can’t imagine ever wanting to read another Zafon book in the future. I don’t really have “reading slumps”, but if I did then this book would have given me one. I had to switch to an Agatha Christie book afterwards to enjoy reading again.

 

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

 

Click here to buy The Shadow of the Wind.