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Liam

Turku, Finland
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  • 14
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A wonderful, stylish and shockingly timeless read

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

Reviewed: 03-10-17

If you are, like me, a lover of Truman Capote's work, then you can't get much better. Capote's pros are both effortless and undeniably cool, and Michael C. Hall does a fantastic job of enhancing these qualities while bringing both the characters and the time period to life. I can't think of a single thing I would change so it is an easy five star listen for me.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Horror?

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

Reviewed: 11-04-17

While The Girl Next Door certainly deals with a truly horrific subject matter, to simply label it and file it neatly under the heading Horror would be an injustice.

While the book is unrelentingly horrific in deed and subject matter, the deeper point for me as a reader, that pushes it out of the realms of pure horror, is the challenge it offers.

Some reviewers have talked about dangers of peer pressure as the key theme. I feel that that does not go to the heart of the message. For me, Ketchum's almost matter-of-fact and sometimes even dry relating of the facts, pushes the question of responsibility not only onto those who took part, but also on those who failed to act. This by extension includes the reader himself. This challenge is poses might well be summed up by a quote attributed to Edmund Burke :"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Satisfaction not necessarily garanteed

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

Reviewed: 01-10-15

The characters are reasonably well realised, in a Stephen King 'ish vibe. The reading is good without going over the edge into hopelessly melodramatic. It would probably be seen as having more of a creepy, rather then a full on horror vibe by many true Horror junkies.

For me, I found the back story to the haunting a little bit light on concept and detail, but depending on your point of view you could also see it as wonderfully open-ended; so again it is very much a matter of personal taste.

I would not say it blew me away, but it was interesting enough that I would pick up another Bentley Little book in the future. If you are expecting an adrenaline fuelled roller-coaster scare fest you might be disappointed. On the other hand, if you are prepared to take it on its own merit, then it should a reasonably entertaining experience.

Formulaic and uninspired

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

Reviewed: 29-09-15

I couldn't say the book is bad, nor could I say outright that the reading was terrible. For me the problem with this one is that in every measurable way it is so mediocre that I have no emotional reaction to it what so ever. The mystery is non-existent, the psychological insights are obvious and the main character is a bland, dulled down version of every troubled police man ever written. Even the inevitable love interest and romance is weirdly sanitised and lackluster. If I were to give it a tag line it would probably be "slow and steady wins the race".

I can't imagine wanting to here other stories about Tom Caton.

Jon Ronson at his best

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

Reviewed: 05-06-15

I have always enjoyed of Jon Ronson's work since first reading an article he wrote about someone I know reasonably well and being impressed at how accurately he captured his voice and attitude. Both his persona and turn of phrase make for some very funny moments, but it is when he allows the story to speak to him personally and is honest with the reader about his own feelings that it is most engaging.

For me this has been my favourite of Jon's books. I started it expecting him to deliver a fun journalistic adventure, but was pleasantly surprised when I realised that this book was in many ways far more serious then his previous works. At some points I even felt on the verge of tears when he talks about the radically damaging effect that shame can have on peoples lives.

Jon's reading style comes over as a little eccentric at first, even to the point of being gratingly self conscious, but after listening to other journalists read their own work and their attempts to inject different voices and tones into the performance I found myself missing Jon's straight forward way. He does not try to give different voices for each character and because of this it is easier to concentrate on their words and compare arguments.

This is a book that I think everyone should ready, as it has the potential, if we take its message to heart and examine our own behaviour, to make us kinder to those around us.

A disappointing pot boiler

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

Reviewed: 09-05-15

The Demon Cycle started with such promise. I enjoyed the first two books immensely, especially for the fast pace, character driven story line. The third book in the series, while good, finished with a cliff hanger ending (a warning sign that a series is about to go soap opera). Now with this fourth book I am losing my patients. This feels more like padding in order to make the most out of a successful series rather than a progression from previous books.

Disappointingly pointless.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful