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 Post subject: Poisonwood Bible
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2010, 19:52 
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Poisonwood Bible
Barbara Kingsolver
Historical Fiction, Domestic Fiction
Suggested Age Range: 14+


Character Development: 80%
Plot Quality: 85%
Writing Style: 95%
Originality: 80%
Average: 85% I really enjoyed it.

I'll start with what I tell everyone who's asked me about this book: It's quite boring until the chapter where the ants invade. Right, spoilers aside, that about sums up my take on the book as it goes along. I felt like I was trudging though the first third or so of the book and it would never end, but about that third of the way in there're a few events that change the pace and direction of the plot, and from that point forward I found myself really enjoying the book, right up to the end.

The characters were mostly very well developed, with only a few exceptions, and those were side characters that, while recurring, were not focused on much at all, and their roles in the story, while with purpose, was rather single-impact. That is one thing that seems like I'm saying it detracts from the work when I'm actually praising it though: Kingsolver does a good job of making sure that each character in the book has a distinct purpose and role, and there isn't extraneous "stuff" sticking out anywhere in the novel. Some characters and events are more isolated than others, but they are all very well interwove and placed. I think my favourite characters would have to be Ada and Rachel, with Orleana also ranking quite high. I absolutely hated Ruth May, and that gets me knocked pretty hard by my friends who also enjoyed the book. It's probably just me though, since I'm really not that good with little kids.

Kingsolver's style of writing, from first person perspective almost entirely, was masterfully achieved throughout the book, and with very few exceptions--which I can't even recall specifically--was written with very distinct voices for each character without being forced or overdone. Each voice was unique, but not even close to the point of Mary Sueism, as the flaws inherent in the various characters ranged from blatantly evident to almost completely obscure but still detectable in some corner of the readers' mind. Well contrasting examples of this gambit of flaws are Leah Price and her Father Nathan. Nathan's flaws are so obvious they smack the reader from the first few paragraphs of dialogue, while with Leah the reader knows something's not quite perfect, but may be puzzled as to what exactly it is in her character that creates the feeling of being a normal, imperfect human even by the time they reach the last page.

All things considered: I highly recommend this book to everyone, but particularly to people are looking for a book outside their normal taste in genre and aren't sure if they'll like it or not. Take the plunge!


 Post subject: Poisonwood Bible
PostPosted: 26 Jul 2010, 20:58 
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:thumbsup: Also approved. Not too long, but it does a good job of describing the book.

 Post subject: Poisonwood Bible
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2011, 14:27 
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Zeth, just reminding you that you want to rework this to fit Mercury's review requirements.


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