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Jack, Backwell School

The Smell of Other People's Houses

Well wasn't this predictable.

My first thought when writing this review was to write it as a satirical piece, replicating the predictability this book so wonderfully presents, but I realised that there is no way I could truly do it justice.
But I suppose I should try to point out some of the positives of this book. After all, it wouldn't have taken its place on the shortlist if there wasn't something commendable about it. I shall have a think.
I've taken some time, but frankly, I can see nothing special about this book whatsoever. It details a few facts about '70s Alaska, and enough coincidences to be on a par with Les Mis. Apart from that, the book is, in my view, endless waffle. It could contain some interesting dilemmas and situations in which our four character sets our found, but instead it is too short for this. It seems as though it is written as a collection of different stories, forced together, and the author's Q&A at the back confirms this - it was originally a set of short stories that she tied together. I'm afraid that this hasn't worked in any way, and that the result is a dull and extremely coincidental book.

Posted on: 29th April 2017 at 03:54 pm

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