Sorry for the long post in advance, it’s been a long time since I’ve read a book about museums and antiquities and I forgot how much I love them and how much they make me think!
This book has been on my to-be-read shelf since July of 2011 and I can’t believe I waited this long to read it! I will never forget my first Anthropology class in undergrad and the professor going off on a tangent about the looting of the museums after the fall of Saddam Hussein. It pretty much guaranteed I would be an Anthropology major. (I later switched to cultural anthropology and focused on gender in the media, but still the people were awesome!) The intrigue, the drama, the affairs and the crimes, it could be a spy novel if it were fiction and not fact! This book will count as a bonus book for my 2013 Mount TBR Reading Challenge.
What’s important to note is that this book is not academic, Waxman wrote the book for a general audience and in this she succeeds. There are very few things that would go above someone’s head who doesn’t have a degree or a heavy interest in Ancient History, Anthropology, Archaeology or Art History. She, or her editors, appear to have been very aware of this and kept to the journalistic research intent of the book.
However, this also work against her and ultimately I felt the entire purpose of writing the book got lost. Someone on Goodreads tagged the book as ‘ending goes south’ and that’s an apt description. Waxman keeps building the crescendo and it gets to a point where you just want her to tell you what happens. And then she reminds you that all of this is still happening and things are still changing rapidly totally dampens the bang that could’ve ended the book.
For some reason, this novel just felt more real and better developed than Tenino’s first novel in this series. Frat Boy and Toppy wasn’t bad, it just annoyed me and could’ve used a better copy editor. This novel seemed more polished and a bit more developed. I’m not sure if this had to do with the (seemingly) fewer sex scenes, the (seemingly) more emotionally intense battles or if it’s because the author progressed as a writer. I like to think it was a mixture of the three.
I received a copy of this from the publisher and I received no compensation for my honest response.
The fact that this was a continuation of a love story between two of the characters that broke off fora reason you find out pretty early in the book really helped this be a better novel than the first in the series. The history between Paul and Trevor provided the crucial emotional turmoil for this book to succeed and made it more believable. Let’s face it, I’m a sucker for first-love and second chance stories and this one was definitely a good one. In addition the past history of the two main characters lessened the need for lovey-dovey nicknames that really rubbed me the wrong way in the first novel. There was one used but (and it was my LEAST favorite – babe), but since it appeared only once I just let it go.
One of my friends put it best, ‘So apparently Cujo is just a bad lifetime movie with a rabid dog’ and although he was referring to the movie, it pretty much sums up the book as well. I just was not impressed and couldn’t get into the novel. The major plus side was that it felt like a short novel.
If you haven’t figured it out yet I didn’t enjoy this book. I am glad I can now say I’ve read a Stephen King novel but overall it was lack-luster and disappointing. I didn’t choose to read this novel on my own, it was the selection for our April Books into Movies library book group. So my disparaging review is totally legit. I did have major issues with the formatting of this book. I read this book through Overdrive from my local library and somewhere during the conversion process a lot of mistakes were processed. It was really distracting and felt more like a galley than an actual published book.
I had a lot of problems with the book especially after it started out with such a good sense of terror and what was to come. I definitely freaked out within the first ten pages, but that feeling slowly disappeared and never returned, a lot of this had to do with King’s writing. It felt like he was writing down to his readers, almost dumbing things down for them and this bothered me. (I will provide a caveat that I read this in the middle of reading Middlemarch which is incredibly well written.)
I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who checked in with me after what happened on Monday. I’ve not met any of you in person, but the number of you that reached out to me to make sure me and my friends were okay was truly heart warming. I apologize if I didn’t get to respond to everyone individually, but hopefully you saw my message saying I was okay.
I was with friends about 2-3 miles from the finish line around the 24 mile marker and well away from Copley Square. It took a long time to get home that evening, but that was okay; I was safe and everyone I knew was safe. And as much as I love to complain about the MBTA and hate to admit anything great about them, I have to say their response immediately afterward and ability to get things back up and running mostly that evening and 99% the next day was incredible.
The city is slowly getting back to normal, but there are daily reminders, good and bad, that the Boston is dealing with the aftermath. Every morning I go through Copley station and the station is still closed and it’s an eerie reminder of what happened with all of the lights dimmed. There is still a large area cordoned off around the scene, including the historic Boston Public Library. But the worst is how empty the city feels; it is school vacation week, so many families are out of the city, but the lack of people on the T and walking the streets is eerie.
This is an example of a novel that could’ve been even better if they used a better copy editor, and this has nothing to do with the poor formatting of Amazon’s conversion process from the publisher provided copy. This is my honest response and I received no compensation.
Overall the story and characters were engaging I thought Brad and Sebastian were great and I really hope Colin, Ashley and Kyle make an appearance in another novel in the series, but it doesn’t look like it. There were moments where I laughed out loud and there were even a few moments where my breath caught in my chest, but in the long run I was let down by the editing and a vital choice the author made early on in the novel. I definitely wanted to know more about the characters, but I felt I really got to know who Brad was and who he was becoming in the short 170 pages of this novel.