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Search tags: John-Grisham
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review 2017-08-09 22:19
Camino Island: A Novel - John Grisham

Camino Island by John Grisham
Enjoy Mr. Grishams books for many reasons.
They get me thinking, they take me to new places and I learn new things.
Love this one because it deals with the publishing side of books and how a heist is pulled off quite easily.
It's amazing where the manuscripts end up. Love learning about clamshell and cedar boxes. Lots of twists and turns in this book.
Loved the part about Hemingway and Zelda and Charles Dickens wife as I had just read a book on that subject.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

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review 2017-07-16 06:09
Not his best!
Camino Island: A Novel - John Grisham

Camino Island, John Grisham, author, January LaVoy, narrator

Mr. Grisham has written a book that will work well as a serialized television program once it is spiced up a bit with the romance and violence emphasized. Essentially, priceless manuscripts have been stolen from Princeton University by a gang of five men. The book is about the search for them and their ultimate return to the rightful owner. The very beginning and the very end were more interesting than the middle which was very thin with some brief mentions about the value of rare books and manuscripts and the nefarious behavior that some booksellers engage in as collectors.

There was often too much extraneous information about silly romantic moments, binge drinking, and character backgrounds that added nothing to the story. Many scenes were contrived, emphasizing the emotional dysfunction, rudeness, and alcohol dependence of the writing community. The characters, by and large, appeared either empty headed or overly impressed with their own ability. The women were portrayed very negatively as greedy, rude, sex-seeking shallow individuals. Amorality or immorality was very much alive and well!

The FBI, after their initial success in the investigation, was made out to be a bit incompetent, failing to recognize obvious clues or to pursue obvious leads in a timely way. Stupid errors were made allowing for the crime to actually pay. Insurance companies were driven by greed, not right or wrong. The criminals sometimes seemed to be the brightest bulbs, although some did, although rarely, actually pay a high price for their shady behavior.

Most of the characters were self serving and unlikable, and the story was unbelievable. Basically, it is about a young, out of work writer who is broke and having a dry spell. She is past due on a book for her publisher and in need of money. When approached by an insurance company to help find the stolen manuscripts, she suddenly becomes a well known writer and capable investigator/spy.  Although I thought she seemed hopelessly naïve and immature, she is portrayed as competent and sure of herself in very compromising situations. She neither had the experience or talent to be the spy she becomes. I found the story silly, the romance manufactured, the characters shallow, and the relationships totally artificial. The best part about this book was the narrator who gave the weak story vitality.

Once again, it will be a very good television series, but as a book, it left a lot to be desired. This author seems to be writing his books more for the entertainment world than the literary one.

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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.

 

Previous Updates:

6/23/17 – 3%

6/25/17 – 82%

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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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