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Luis G. Portillo

Wellington, New Zealand
  • 4
  • reviews
  • 7
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  • 26
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Very well written but...

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

Reviewed: 27-06-2019

... that’s just about it. Donna Tartt masters the writing but neglects the story.

I found it to be an okay story with characters trying to be more interesting than their average personalities would allow them to be. There were many parts where it could have finished but she kept giving you stuff that I thought was kind of irrelevant to the story arch. They killed Bunny, they got away with it and after that, it was hard to remain engaged with the tale.

As gifted as Donna Tartt is a writer - the way she structures sentences and delivers ideas is flawless, she’s not a good reader. All characters sound the same and it took me a long time to engage with the novel.

Interesting life told with boring stories.

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

Reviewed: 01-02-2019

It's hard to imagine that a woman who's had such a fascinating and historic life would manage to write such a snoozer of a book.

She's at her best when she talks about her husband, in particular when they met and wed. When she talks about her daughters she also gets emotive. The rest, although quite interesting, reads more like an academic paper than a memoir.

I like to read memoirs because I want to know how people (well known or unknown) have managed to have such remarkable lives that make them larger than life when I read or listen to their books. Their lives are inspiring because they have made them happen. In Michelle Obama's book, I couldn't find that magical moment that convinced me that there was no other way she could have lived her life, or that she even has started to go after her real goals.

This is not a memoir, it is a biography. She has put too much distance between her as the narrator and her as the character. It feels too controlled at times, and there are sections I'm sure the editor must have struggled to make her loosen up a little bit. As for writing style, I think she used too many adverbs.

Listening to her read the book was a mistake. She's not a good reader and you can hear her struggle in particular during long paragraphs. I believe reading would have been a different experience.

5 of 10 people found this review helpful

Misleading title

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

Reviewed: 01-08-2018

I thought that a novel with a title l”An American Marriage” wold be more epic. Middle section drags, but the performances are great, I cared about Roy and Celestial because narrators made me care.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Beautifully written and read.

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

Reviewed: 28-03-2018

This is a beautifully written book. Every single sentence and phrase is perfectly constructed. The flashbacks, sideways and narration point of views are so easy to follow. The reader did a great job. But that's the only reason I went through the 32 hours. I took it as a Master Class in writing and performance. I just couldn't care for the story.
When I heard it was a story about four friends in NY, I thought of 'Sleepers,' which I loved when it came out in 1995 because it was a guys' novel. 'A Little Life' seems to be a fantasy of how the author thinks guys relationships work.
But again, I thought it was such a masterpiece in writing that I didn't care I wasn't buying into the plot. I can see why it was shortlisted for big awards.