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the typist

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Lyrical, illogical, illuminating

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-06-20

I loved this book! It’s like a tall drink of water after a long day walking through a very hot, barren cultural desert (think Palm Springs). The main character is silly, often ridiculous and so very very sorry for herself. The anguish and pain she goes through feel like self flagellation and that’s pretty much what we’re all doing every day of our lives. Beautiful. Buy it. Now.

This book should be in the fantasy section...

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-05-20

Whilst the subject matter is undoubtedly interesting and engaging, the writer’s constant references to God and the Bible become increasingly wearing. In this day and age I find it frankly terrifying that someone can claim to be open and “all embracing“ but still include direct references to such divisive and difficult texts. Themes yes, quotes no!

Inspiring & baffling in equal measure

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-05-20

As a white, gay man I’m probably not the target demo for this. However, so much of it resonated and felt empowering..... But then I started questing stuff. Like Glennon’s uncanny ability to say incredibly inspiring stuff on the spot. Her weirdly contradictory views and her shameless self aggrandisement. Of course that’s part and parcel of ‘novelising’ your memoir, but by the end it all felt a bit ham fisted and convenient.

3 people found this helpful

Silly, slow and ultimately boring

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-03-20

I love Lewycka’s early stuff, but this is real let down. What starts off as social commentary quickly descends into farce. Woefully unbelievable characters, a ridiculous story and zero believability. One to avoid!

1 person found this helpful

Promises much, delivers little

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-02-20

I can totally understand why this book has been touted as one to watch. It has all the ingredients of an Emma Healey or Joanna Canon novel, but unfortunately it falls far short of either of these two wonderful authors. The main problem is that, Missy the lead character, feels underwritten, her dark secret just isn’t that dark and the twist at the end is telegraphed miles ahead. Add in the menagerie of unrealistic characters ‘saving’ Missy and the entire thing just feels like a poor attempt to cash in on the whole ‘Eleanor Olyphant’/spikey character just needs love genre.

1 person found this helpful

That tricky second book…

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-01-20

Whilst I absolutely loved the writers first book, Something in the Water, I couldn’t even finish this follow-up. So much of the lead characters history is held back until the third of the way through the story, by which point I was expecting some incredibly juicy revelations to make up for the frankly dull and implausible storyline that comes before. No spoilers here, but suffice to say the revelations are equally as dull unfortunately.

1 person found this helpful

Exquisite

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-01-20

I have no idea what I was expecting from this book, other than it was another Sally Rooney-esque, millennial take on growing up. I’m pretty sure this book tops anything Miss Rooney will do in the next decade or so however, as the author is older and wiser and has actually lived to see what’s on the other side of being young and carefree (or young and traumatised). The story of the three main protagonists is full of wonder, pathos, regret and beauty. The author has drawn the most exquisite picture of moving from youth to middle-age. It should be compulsory reading for everyone from 25 to 45.

Insightful and engaging

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-01-20

The hype heaped upon this book meant it fell well below my expectations. Comparisons to Sally Rooney are misguided and actually do the writer a disservice. Rooney captures souls and spirits in the slightest of stories, Kiley Reid on the other hand brings us a multilayered, super woke tale that is efficient rather than effortless. The story is, however, very engaging and the various characters captured brilliantly.

Wonderful

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-12-19

Easily one of the best books I have read this year. Simple yet powerful storytelling. I didn’t want it to end and neither will you (if you have any taste).

Bring on the sequel!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-11-19

Yes, it’s derivative of nearly every other alien-meets-kids story ever. Yes, it’s a bit clunky with certain dialogue and references that feel like they were dreamt up by a white, middle aged, straight man (which I’m assuming they were). And yes, the ending is telegraphed from the outset with all the finesse of a hammer thrower. But so what? I REALLY enjoyed it! Warm, engaging, intriguing, fun. With a genuinely interesting bit of world building - which, IMO, should have been front loaded and explored much earlier on. Though that’s clearly the plan for book two...

7 people found this helpful