Thursday, 9 January 2020

Never Judge a Book.............

..............by it's cover or it's first sentences.





SPOILER ALERT! Don't read this post if you are planning to read this book

A very strange book, not my usual read and not what I thought it was, but it needed finishing.

I usually avoid books that have won something, but I didn't know about these accolades...........



A Times Best Thriller Book of the Year
A Guardian Fiction Book of the Year
A Sunday Times Fiction Book of the Year
A Telegraph Top 50 Book of 2019
A Mail on Sunday Book of the Year
An Express Best Book of 2019


It's 1468 and a young priest, Christopher Fairfax, arrives in a remote Exmoor village to conduct the funeral of his predecessor. The land around is strewn with ancient artifacts - coins, fragments of glass, human bones - which the old parson used to collect. Did his obsession with the past lead to his death?

So far so good - it's obviously an historical crime. But then it mentions plastic and you find that this isn't the 1468 that we know but the 1468 that is 800 years after the Apocalypse which seems to have happened in our very near future - 2025! and caused by the failing of everything that makes the world work as we know it today.

As I said "I'd started so I finished" ( I don't always). The first half of the book is very good but it goes downhill toward the end and the end is too sudden and not happy.

Also interesting is the title which explains sleep patterns in the past - never heard of this before.

 The only other book of his that I'd read before was Enigma,which I remember enjoying. Not sure enjoying is quite the right word for The Second Sleep...........it's rather disturbing.

This was the last of 92 books read in 2019, that's several down on previous years. 

Back Tomorrow
Sue

(edited in to say I have no idea why there are two pictures of the book cover on this post - in my draft there is only 1 - very strange)





 

23 comments:

  1. It sounds rather odd. Are you glad you persisted or not?
    xx

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  2. I will avoid this book. I like stories to finish with all the ends tied up and reasonably happy otherwise I can't get them out of my mind. I sometimes wonder how books get such glowing reports from the critics.

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    1. I would have liked a better ending but then it wouldn't have been apocalypse-like

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  3. Looks interesting, just went and read the Guardian review. I suspect you would file it under a miserable book;) dystopic.

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    1. Not the sort of thing I usually read at all, although I have watched various films about a post apocalypse world

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  4. I read Ghost by him on the recommendation of Gwil. A fictional story based on a former UK Prime Minister, drowning and remembering. The PM was based on Blair we assumed. In the book you read I think it relates to the present day of rejection of order. I think Weave has also read one of his books.

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    1. Do you think it's one you would read?

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    2. Probably not. I finished the one Gwil recommended but didn't feel I would ever read another Robert Harris!

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  5. Okay. If it had been a historical fiction I may have considered it but I'm not big on Apocalypse settings. Thanks for the warning.

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  6. Sounds different. I don't mind historical but not a big fan of apocalypse fiction. At least you finished it!

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    1. Yes, it needed finishing even though it wasn't what I thought

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  7. Hmmmm....doesn't sound like my kind of read. Clever idea for a story though. I'm not convinced about the "second sleep" theory myself. It seems odd to me that ancient peoples would have gotten up in the dark to do their work. Without a source of light? and what light they did have was precious, not to be wasted. An interesting concept but doesn't make sense, at least to me.

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    1. Makes no sense to me either, need to find out more

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  8. I have read other Robert Harris books and really enjoyed them. I found this one disturbing, but gripping. I felt really let down by the ending though and that, for me, spoilt the whole book.

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    1. Certainly disturbing, especially when you start to think of the millions in London without food all heading out of the city.

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  9. I'm currently half way through A Long Call, a book you did recommend. Thank you,I'm enjoying it. I have The Man Who Never Called next, which has lots of accolades­čś▒

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    1. I'm looking forward to the next after The Long Call but not this year as she has another Vera out later

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  10. I think i'll give this one a miss... thanks for the review.

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  11. It sounds like a well written, good book. I think I've read too many Apocalypse books recently though.

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  13. By chance I just finished Harris' Enigma and enjoyed his writing. I'm interested in apocalyptic fiction, so this book is one I will try - thank you for the review.

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