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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

*Ripper by Isabel Allende



What have you done with Isabel Allende? I want her back. I miss the surreal mysticism, drama and passion that permeates each page from beginning to end. I am all for experimenting with writing style and genre, but if it does not work at the level one usually achieves, save it for future thought.

Ouch! That was harsh and I do not mean to be nasty. Yet, had I wanted a basic who-done-it novel I would have chosen a different author with a better grasp of the subject matter. Ripper is far too prosaic for Allende. The plot is interesting in very general terms, it being a mystery. But, for the most part, it simply plods along getting stuck in the mud once too often. The characters have potential, but are not developed enough to sustain my curiosity. Much of the book dragged on and on, going on tedious tangents while avoiding the main idea. There was nothing, overall, that held my attention.  

In my defense, I normally love Isabel Allende’s work, but did not look forward to my continued reading of Ripper. I had to force myself to do so each time I picked it up.  Two-thirds of the way through, I had to admit defeat and put her book down for good. No one is perfect one-hundred percent of the time. So, no, I will not give up on one of my favored authors. I will quietly wait in hope for her next great novel.

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