Saturday, February 02, 2008
The Ghost Writer by John Harwood
Thursday, October 04, 2007
I acquired this novel from Bookmooch after reading some glowing reviews of it. It follows the growing up of Gerald Freeman, who lives in Australia with his weird, over-protective mother and a detached father who plays with trains. In his early adolescence, Gerald begins a correpsondence with penpal, Alice Jesell, a handicapped girl about the same age. It's a strange coincidence that the orphange and nursing facility where Alice lives closely resembles Staplefield, the home where Gerald's mother grew up and which he has dreamed about and longed to see for years. I found the quickly budding sexual content in the letters between the two to be very creepy, not scary creepy, just disturbing. And I found it odd how Alice was able to control Gerard so completely through her letters. Eventually, Gerald travels to England to meet Alice and also to see his mother's childhood home. There are stories within this story, as, through his life, Gerald comes across ghost stories written by his grandmother which foreshadow so many later happenings. I just didn't care for this novel. I thought it was confusing. the characters unappealing, and the ending abrupt. It did have a great deal of suspense, and the old English house was a great setting for horror, but I found myself not caring if Gerard was in danger or not.
Posted by Framed at 9:06 PM
Too bad you didn't like it. Wow, you are getting through this challenge really fast. Good job!
10/05/2007 8:33 AM
I read this book awhile back and found myself so excited to read it. Once I got to the end, I was so mad that I'd even wasted my time...so I agree with you, didn't care for it.
10/05/2007 9:45 AM
Literary Feline said...
I am sorry you didn't care for this one, Framed. I'm one of those who really liked it. Gerard wasn't my favorite character, but I liked the book for so many other reasons that my opinion of Gerard didn't really matter all that much in the end.
10/06/2007 12:07 AM
I was feeling sad that I didn't get to the mooch in time to get this book from you. Now I'm glad.
10/06/2007 3:38 PM
J.S. Peyton said...
Oy, I've been thinking about reading this one too. Now I think I just might pass...
10/11/2007 8:09 AM
What perfect timing. I had put this one on my wish list and decided I was uncertain about it when it came up for grabs at PBS. After some thought, I decided that I didn't want to spend one of my few remaining credits on a book that I wasn't gung ho about; I only had three credits left and two books became available at once - I chose to go with Eat, Pray, Love, which has been on my wish list for over a year, and turn The Ghost Writer down. I'm really kind of happy to see a negative review, after that decision!! But, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. I always hate it when I close a book and think, "Oh, wow. Why did I waste my time?"