Why I bought it:
I was hooked by Kassa’s review.
Dislike/like (ending on a high note):
Dislike~ It has flashbacks AND they were in italics! Those of you who’ve been hanging around here for a while know how I feel about them. *sigh* In all serious, though, my fascination with the development of the characters and their relationship meant my gut reaction to the use of the flashback fell by the way side. Quite frankly, I was too engrossed to give a toss. Proof that a good author can make it work.
Like~ Some of the best characterisation that I have been privileged to read. If you are a character-ho like me, I would suggest you read Shades of Gray for this aspect alone. Every inch of the plot – yes, including the flashbacks – has been tightly crafted so as to allow the reader increasing insight into the protags, in particular their motivations. Stereotypes are broken down to reveal flawed and complex men and it is all perfectly paced. Extremely impressive stuff.
Dislike~ The story does touch upon the issue of infidelity, which, again, is something that causes me to stumble because of my personal bias against the act. Having said that, the way the author dealt with it did make it more convincing for me because it was associated with Miller’s denial then growing acceptance of his sexuality.
Like~ As the story progresses so to does the exploration of the concept of the lives of the cast of characters being made up of shades of gray. This made for an intensely compelling read that challenges the so-called ‘truths’ of right and wrong, black and white.
So, what I think: A very gritty and consuming work featuring flawed and complex, but still engaging, protags and superb characterisation. I thoroughly recommend it.
‘Tasting’ is my version of a mini-review where I talk a (very) little about what I liked and disliked about a book as well as who I think the story will appeal to. Oh, and I’ve added a bit about why I picked up the book in the first place – sometimes this can be interesting to know.