The author of The Jane Austen Book Club presents another highly inventive novel one that ensnares readers in cunning deceptions, challenging them to separate the truth from fiction.
Wit s End The author of The Jane Austen Book Club presents another highly inventive novel one that ensnares readers in cunning deceptions challenging them to separate the truth from fiction
Preface I won this through a Readinggroupguides contest I have read The Jane Austen Book Club, which was also set in the Norcal area, so I m right at home with that.Update Just because you get a book for free does not mean you should read it There was no point or direction to this book The storyline was very scattered, none of the characters were developed enough to like or emphathize with them, and it was peppered with unnecessary profanity and moral issues that came from left field The teaser [...]
I bought this book in the UK I prefer the US title, Wit s End, as it is a accurate indication of the book s themes and content.The UK jacket copy made the book sound like a lighthearted romp with a fictional detective come to life to help the heroine Instead, the book is a rumination on grief, the creative process, and just who owns a creative work once it is accessible by the public Does it belong to the author To the fan To the real life people events on whom the fictional characters and situ [...]
What the heck is this book about It reminds me of Jerry Seinfeld s description of his sitcom This is a book about nothing When you are finished with this book, you don t know any about the characters that you did before you started it I read this book on a bus trip to Milwaukee If I had not been trapped on the bus with it, I would have quit half way through I would not recommed this book to anyone.I have not read Fowler s The Jane Austen Book Club and am not likely to after reading this disaste [...]
I like meta books, books about books and writers and readers and how stories influence our lives As someone who spends what, I admit, is probably an inordinate amount of time reading, reading about books is important and informative Wit s End is metafiction about mystery Rima s godmother, Addison Early, is a successful Agatha Christie like mystery writer Rima comes to stay with Addison at Wit s End, Addison s little refuge from the world in Santa Cruz Cut off from the rest of the world by the lo [...]
What a letdown The description sounded so interesting A young woman, Rima, who is suffering after the deaths, one after another, of her immediate family members, is invited to move in with her godmother who happens to be a world famous mystery writer The writer lives in a beachfront estate in Santa Cruz, California, called Wit s End which was built years ago by a surviving member of the Donner party who is said to haunt the grounds The writer is a little eccentric she builds dioramas of the murd [...]
The best part of this novel is the author s wit Fowler, as many reviewers note, really does have a wonderful voice Her character insights, asides, ruminations all are engaging and interesting The whole of Wit s End, however, is not as good as the sum of its parts With so many odd and fascinating side stories grief, loss, obsessive fan adoration, theft of artistic ownership, cults, mystery novels, mysterious letters, mysteries within mysteries not to mention complicated and fascinating characters [...]
Now this is a really fun book for the modern, Net savvy reader I don t think I ve ever heard fanfiction discussed accurately in a book before or ever discussed period , and I love the varying attitudes on it from the author to the rabid fangirl to the innocent net surfer who accidentally stumbles onto a slashy one SO much fun I read in a professional review somewhere that this book feels up to the minute fresh, and that is really an excellent way to put it Blogging, forums, Dubbya s incompetenc [...]
I m giving this one three stars, although 2 1 2 would be accurate Though Fowler is tremendously good at setting and details, as well as introducing quirky characters, that didn t make up for the plot , such that there is.We start with the protagonist, Rima Lanisell, arriving at the Santa Cruz, CA home of her godmother Addison Early, famous think Stephen King famous author of a serious of mystery thrillers featuring the character Maxwell Lane, and antagonist Bim Lanisell Bin Laden , same name as [...]
The author of The Jane Austen Book Club has struck again delightfully This book is not a mystery but it IS about a mystery writer, her goddaughter, and some mysterious past events There are multiple story lines in this book,including highly imaginative plots for the books written by Addison though, despite attempts throughout the book by many, not a clue about what the new book is about until the very, very, very end It s a tad confusing at timessince Addison has a tendency to use real peoples n [...]
Reading this book made me wonder why Jonathan Lethem, Junot Diaz and the other fan boys get all the credit for playing with genre Karen Joy Fowler s meta mystery, about a woman trying to decipher the relationships between her family and a famous murder mystery writer, has just as many layers and asks just as many big philosophical questions Set in a Santa Cruz populated by cults and clowns and 12 stepper housekeepers, the book is as colorful as any traditional mystery By adding plot lines that t [...]
I really liked it yet there is no discernible reason that I did There is no concrete aspect that I loved I didn t love the characters, I didn t love the beginning, middle and end of the story oh, because there wasn t one But I loved it as a whole all the same.It was very current In a way that I ve never experienced in a novel There were constant cultural references that were very now polar bears on LOST for example, crazy fan fic and website forums of fans I never understood the mystery, the bac [...]
4.5 starsI think, unfortunately, that this book is misreprented by the tag line on the cover and the publisher description both those seem to promise an overarching mystery, a sinister encroachment of the both the past and of an author s fans.What it actually is and succeeds quite well at is the first person narrative of a woman without roots trying to find some purpose Rima struggles with grief, tries to figure out the puzzle of her father s life, tries both to connect and to avoid connection.P [...]
Too much , not enough story I thought that all of the themes were a great set up the dollhouses, the Maxwell Lane stories, etc Ice City the mental place with an imagined geography, inside a fictional world, was the best thing I got out of it But Ice City was a very small part Did I miss something bigger because I listened to it Also, I just have something against people spending too much time on their computers in novels unless its SF I asked myself about this, and telephones are okay, even cell [...]
I barely know what happened in this book It s haphazard and directionless I was unsure of what mystery we were trying to solve, and the resolution didn t clear it up There were baffling extraneous stories and details that made me wonder if this book ever made it into the hands of an editor Disappointing because I really enjoyed her novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.
I found this book wandering, confusing, and lacking in purpose and cohesiveness It seems like it is trying to be clever but it does this by obscuring things and making them intentionally confusing Rather than unfolding like an onion or even being revealed like a jigsaw puzzle, it makes things muddy then stirs them and eventually replaces them with something clearer Very unsatisfying.
The Jane Austen Book Club could not have been better designed or timed Karen Joy Fowler s fourth novel appeared in 2004 at the intersection of two massive forces in American publishing women s book clubs and the Austen revival With its sharp wit and clever allusions to Emma et al the story rotated through a year s worth of meetings involving six members of a book club in California If the plot was a little slow and tenuous, well, nobody minded because Fowler s portrayal of reading group dynamics [...]
After Rima Lanisell s father dies, she goes to stay with her godmother, Addison Early Addison is a hugely successful crime fiction writer and was a close friend of Rima s father However, she is very private and Rima struggles to understand the history of Addison and her father while she figures out her place and purpose in the world Fowler s books are fun and the characters are quirky This was an easy and engaging read.
I rated this a 5 as a reaction to all the low ratings, I think It s witty, fey and clever with two dachshunds Berkeley and Stanford that almost had me laughing out loud.I think the low ratings came from people who were expecting a standard cookie cutter whodunit instead of charm I d heard of Holy City near Santa Cruz before when we lived in California and had spent time along the coast so appreciate descriptions of fog and the seaside.Our heroine, Rima, is thrice bereaved and visits her godmothe [...]
It s hard to say exactly what kept me reading this I did like the main character, Rima, a lonely and emotionally fragile woman who visits her grandmother the house of her godmother, named Wit s End, in Santa Cruz California The godmother, Addison, is a famous mystery writer I admired the book s intent, which was to blend the fictional and the real by bringing Addison s characters into the present day action Ultimately, however, I found all the twists and turns of the plot too difficult to follow [...]
Critical reception of Wit s End ran the full gamut Like The Jane Austen Book Club, the novel should appeal to lovers of mystery books and to readers who enjoy pondering the relationship between characters, their creators, and their fan bases Yet while these critics couldn t put the book down, others panned it Pop culture references, such as the Internet Wiki wars where fans analyze Maxwell Lane s life , perhaps make up for what some critics described as relatively insipid characters and mysterie [...]
This is one of those books that I read and finish and then forget with that curious brand of immediate reader amnesia I sometimes get, which is what caused me to start writing reviews in the first place The amnesia is a pity, because I m pretty sure I found it frequently charming Paging through it again now, I recall enough to say that the writing is strong but the characterization didn t spark my interest The premise is good, the setting exquisitely drawn, and the moods captured wittily and ele [...]
3.5 stars, if that were an option This was generally a bit of a nothingburger but for some reason I enjoyed it anyway The writing was really witty and charming, which made up for the lack of plot It kept me nicely occupied while I was flying solo this weekend.
A friend passed this on knowing I read Jane Austen Book Club I think this had the potential to be good with the plot ideas, but the implementation was not so good Even once things were revealed they were confusing and unsatisfying.
This book is fun I think it succeeds on the fun level than on the serious level even though it takes up some VERY serious themes in the lives of characters at times, I stayed detached from them overall Or they stayed detached from me.It s the concept that s really fun fascinating.
Very sly book within a book mystery reminds me of Jasper Ffjorde s books Extremely well done but not all that fun because nobody to root for and everybody kind of glum.
The original title for this book is Wit s End, which is appropriate for the characters and where they find themselves in life The prose is sparkling and witty with enough twists and turns to keep the reader interested I suspect this book is written in the style of the Jane Austen Book Club as it s not as dark as We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves I found the concept of the murder scene dollhouses as representations of the mystery writer s books wonderfully novel and funny This isn t a book [...]
I became a fan of Fowler after reading The Jane Austen Book club and then meeting her at a writer s conference This book fell so short of my expectations I listened to it on audio, so perhaps my judgment is not fair, but it so totally confused me with its lengthy list of characters, subplots and, I think, even genres I usually listen to audios twice during long road trips since I am visually oriented, but I don t want to try this again I can live with not know what the heck really happened.
I must have gone the wrong way in the Karen Joy Fowler timeline The reason I picked this book up was because of a later book by her called We are completely beside ourselves Which I can safely say made my top 3 favorite books pro tip don t read the description just read You will be pleasantly surprised Anyways, this book didn t have the same tone, nor is it as inventive Total letdown.
I loved the characters and the writing like THIS Tilda told stories too, and she was terrible She always left out some crucial piece and had to go back and add it later Did I say he was blind Did I tell you they were identical twins Did I say they were on horseback and I loved the plot device involving dollhouses.But I wanted to happen.
This followed the surprise runaway success of The Jane Austen Book Club, and it just doesn t work It s based on some known characters of Santa Cruz, where Fowler lives, and its premise is interesting, but the book just doesn t come together You can always enjoy Fowler for her sentences, and the off trail ways she moves stories forward but this one is for completists like me.