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Search tags: John-Grisham
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review 2017-06-25 23:21
Camino Island ★★☆☆☆
Camino Island: A Novel - John Grisham

Deadly dull stuff. I couldn’t bring myself to care about any of the characters, and the main character’s moral rationalizing was frankly laughable. I’m not sure why the author even bothered telling us about any of the criminals who pulled off the heist. The plot was… well, I couldn’t bring myself to care how it ended, if the criminals were caught, if the university got their manuscript back, or if the writer and the bookseller reconciled their relationship.

 

I think the only reason I even finished this book is that I was listening to it while on a long road trip and the book was marginally more interesting than just looking at 200 miles worth of grass and trees and cows, although the occasional horse pasture was distraction enough for me to have to rewind.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library. January LaVoy provided a very good performance, considering the material she had to work with.

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text 2017-06-25 14:05
Camino Island: 82%
Camino Island: A Novel - John Grisham

Seriously, has Grisham's writing always been this tedious? During a 4 hour road trip yesterday, during which I had little to occupy my mind other than this audiobook, I found it only slightly less interesting to look at the cows, the grass, the trees, and the ass end of the truck in front of me. Sometimes I even had to rewind because I didn't know what I'd just listened to. 

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text 2017-06-23 12:16
Camino Island: 3%
Camino Island: A Novel - John Grisham

One of my least favorite approaches to storytelling is when the author spends a sizable chunk of the first chapter to give names and explain the backgrounds of all the characters. Takes what was already an unexciting opening heist scene to new thresholds of Meh. 

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review 2017-06-22 13:01
"Camino Island" by John Grisham
Camino Island: A Novel - John Grisham

“Camino Island” starts as a fast moving, (very) stripped down, matter of fact, look how ingenious we are, heist. The plot moves along rapidly, if somewhat mechanically, executing what should have been the perfect robbery. The thieves are straight from central casting. The items being stolen, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s manuscripts, are the only original things in the opening chapters. If this had been a movie, the robbery would have taken place as a background to the credits rolling by and no one would have missed anything.

Then the flow of the book suddenly slows and we’re gently meandering through the life of our heroine, a woman with one successful novel behind her, weighed down by her student loan debt, about to lose her teaching job, involuntarily single and three years behind on writing her next novel.


It turns out she is the last best hope for retrieving the missing manuscripts. She accepts payment to go back the island she grew up on and spend the summer infiltrating the life of a bookseller, suspected of holding the manuscripts.


Much of the book is spent describing the books seller’s life, the lives of the other writers on the island (they are legion) the changing nature of the publishing world, the delights of good food, fine wine and antique Provençal furniture and the freedoms of an open marriage.


The dialogue is well done and the characters are clearly drawn but I felt that I had walked into a different novel (possibly written by a different author) than the one I’d started. I was less engaged that I could have been as I found the bookseller unattractive and our heroine passive and voyeuristic.

I kept reading partly because I wanted to see how this dive into Floridian book culture would connect back to the heist and partly because the writing made up for the plot.
In the end, the clever twist emerges and is well executed but it had all the emotional impact of a magician pulling a rabbit from a top hat.

The epilogue that brings the main characters together for a final resolution simply confirmed that I didn’t like or care about either of them.

This is not a bad book but it left me feeling a little cheated because the heist never got passed the cardboard cut-out stage and most of the book was as thrilling as watching strangers drink too much and talk too much at a cocktail party

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text 2017-06-21 19:34
Top Read and Sold this week on Amazon.com (or: In my lifetime will the Harry Potter books ever not be chart toppers?)
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
Camino Island: A Novel - John Grisham
Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel - Mark Sullivan
Come Sundown - Nora Roberts
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life - Mark Manson
I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons - Kevin Hart,Neil Strauss
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate - Al Franken
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari Dr
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis - J.D. Vance

I'm just noticing https://www.amazon.com/charts showing the current week's most read and most sold books.  I put the top five most read fiction and nonfiction at top of this post, visit the link for all of them. 

 

Anyone know what these colored triangles mean?  UPDATE — thanks to Grimlock's comment on another post — triangles refer to movement up/down on the chart.

 

         

 

 

Source: www.amazon.com/charts
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