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E. Lowell's latest

 
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2498

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:28 pm    Post subject: E. Lowell's latest Reply with quote

Have other readers found the latest RS by Lowell as flat as I did? With the exception of two passages, nothing seemed to happen in the book. Much of it was taken up by discourses on artists and the art market, which was informative but not, by any stretch of the imagination, story. Furthermore, Lowell's usually smooth and effective prose became, in this book, almost spasmodic. The plethora of single sentence paragraphs and single word paragraphs reminded me of a drunken movie reel. [/b]
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MarianneM



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 374
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:00 pm    Post subject: E. Lowell's Latest Reply with quote

dick ... I'm going to have to agree with you on this. The book is not Lowell's best. The basic structure is too obvious, i.e. take an interesting subject or area of activity, describe the advantages and disadvantages of various approaches to achievement in that area, insert a hero and heroine into the mix and describe hazardous doings within the plot and how they are satisfacorily concluded. This is a pretty effective plot structure in general and has worked well for Lowell before, but just didn't gel this time. It worked very well in Innocent As Sin, her most recent previous book.

But, after all, no one hits a bullseye every time, unless you fire the gun first and then draw the target around it. So I will cut Lowell some slack on this.

MarianneM
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really enjoyed The Wrong Hostage from a couple of books back, but I truly did not like the ones following it. Which book are the both of you talking about here? I'm not sure if it's one I've read or not. I do have one on reserve at the library and that may be the one that's under discussion. With the exception of most of her early stuff, Lowell has not been meeting my expectations lately.
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MarianneM



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 374
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:22 pm    Post subject: Note to Tee Reply with quote

Tee ... I can't speak for dick, but the previous book I was talking about is Innocent as Sin. I liked it because it was well researched as far as rather obscure banking regulations are concerned [my one break from editing was a two-year stint in which I helped to found a new national bank in a mid-western city] and yet had two protagonists who were both likable and charming. The plot was realistic and the pace was headlong, and yet the romance was sweet and convincing to me. A little while ago I reread it, and still enjoyed it for the same reasons.

MarianneM
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Marianne. I have a feeling dick may be speaking about a different one. Lowell's most recent one appears to be Blue Smoke and Murder, which came out in May and one that I have on hold still at the library. I probably read the one you're talking about, but honestly cannot remember without looking at a more detailed synopsis.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2498

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is the latest--Blue Smoke and Murder--that I thought so very flat. I thought Innocent as Sin a good read and The Wrong Hostage a very good one. (Wrong Hostage characters re-appear in this latest one.)
In the case of Blue Smoke, mariannem, Lowell tanked in my opinion. In most Lowells, I can at least enjoy the prose; in Blue Smoke, although there were a couple of very witty lines, even the prose missed the boat. I bought the book, damnit.
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Maggi



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought the book, damnit.[/quote]

Me, too, Dick, and it's already in 'to be donated' sack. I totally agree with you about the book. While I enjoy reading something that takes me to a world I know nothing about, i.e., art, high finance, espionage, etc., I wasn't at all interested in the world of western art and the writing didn't compensate for my lack of interest. But Ms. Lowell has written books that I enjoyed very much - maybe time to reread The Wrong Hostage??
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4225
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maggi wrote:
While I enjoy reading something that takes me to a world I know nothing about, i.e., art, high finance, espionage, etc., I wasn't at all interested in the world of western art and the writing didn't compensate for my lack of interest.

Yep, Maggi, I'm in agreement with both you and dick on Blue Smoke and Murder, unfortunately. Actually, when I first began reading, it captured my attention for a while; but it wasn't long before I lost interest in the goings-on. Too bad. I think both characters had potential, but in a different setting. I'm beginning to think that Wrong Hostage was a fluke. It's hard to figure how she could write such an engaging story and then lose it for the next two books.
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dick wrote:
Lowell's usually smooth and effective prose

. . .

In most Lowells, I can at least enjoy the prose


+IHS+

I haven't read her latest, but as I was trying my very first Lowell today, Eden Burning, I found myself riveted by her prose.

Take this sentence:

Bobby spoke the languid, slangy version of English that was developing in the islands' yeasty cultural and linguistic stew.

Fantastic! Very Happy
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"To be in a romance is to be in uncongenial surroundings. To be born into this earth is to be born into uncongenial surroundings, hence to be born into a romance." (G.K. Chesterton)
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2498

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

to Schola: Prior to Lowell moving completely into romantic suspense, I thought her prose the absolute best in romance fiction. The earlier stuff--the Only series, the medievals, the gem tetralogy, even some of the every Harlequins--were delights to read for the language and syntax alone. As late as The Wrong Hostage that wordsmithy skill still glistened. But it was gone in Blue Smoke and Murder. Let's hope that last book was a fluke.

I've often cited a line from one of the Only books--a line that echoes in my mind--as proof of her skill: "Love is the light that casts no shadow."
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dick, that's a beautiful line! Very Happy

I've just finished Eden Burning. The love story itself isn't to my taste (and I find I agree with the D+ review it got from AAR); but the descriptions of the scenery, the background information on volcanoes, and the flawless use of Hawaii as a metaphor for a woman's body and soul just won me over. Lowell can write!
_________________
"To be in a romance is to be in uncongenial surroundings. To be born into this earth is to be born into uncongenial surroundings, hence to be born into a romance." (G.K. Chesterton)
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