Book Reviews of The Big Picture

The Big Picture
The Big Picture
Author: Douglas Kennedy
ISBN-13: 9780349108896
ISBN-10: 0349108897
Publication Date: 4/23/1998
Pages: 467
  • Currently 4.7/5 Stars.

4.7 stars, based on 3 ratings
Publisher: Time Warner Books UK
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

9 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Big Picture on + 218 more book reviews
I loved this book! I love books where the MC's life starts to spin out of control and you don't know what's going to happen. This one was a whirlwind of a book. I enjoy this author and don't know why he isn't more mainstream.
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From Publishers Weekly
This astonishingly assured first novel, by an American working in London as a journalist, has a breathless readability that is rare-particularly as it seems at first to cover pretty familiar territory. Ben Bradford is a Wall Street lawyer living a comfortable life in Connecticut, with a wife and two small children, but he seems to be heading, rather early, for a midlife crisis. He had always wanted to be a photographer, still putters around at it, but feels his life is ebbing away. Beth, his wife, a frustrated novelist, is increasingly estranged from him. Then Ben discovers she has taken a lover-ironically, another failed photographer-and in a confrontation with the man, Gary Summers, Ben's accumulated rage leads to a moment of murderous madness. Both Beth's infatuation with Gary and Ben's maniacal rage seem rather out of character, but with that caveat, the rest of this headlong novel grips like a vise as Ben carefully covers up his crime, disappears and takes on his victim's identity. The Big Picture has to be the most careful and imaginative exploration of such a situation ever penned, from the details of how one convincingly contrives an apparent accidental death to the minutiae of building a new life, unrecognized, in a far place. In Ben's case, it is a small town in Montana, and his born-again existence there is rich in ironies, from his eventual success as a photographer to his ultimate need to disappear yet again. The book is more than just a compelling read: it also has poignant and moving things to say about lost opportunities and wasted lives in America, the cynical quality of sudden fame, the awfulness of willed separation from deeply loved children.
reviewed The Big Picture on
This is a really good story. It is not your usual ending.
reviewed The Big Picture on + 362 more book reviews
Ben Bradford is a successful lawyer with a wife, two children, and a house in the suburbs. He is also obsessed by his dream of becoming a photographer. Forced to confront the reality of his crumbling marriage and professional life, he struggles ineffectually to regain control. One out-of-control moment ends in death. Horrified, he wallows in self-pity as he methodically tries to cover his tracks and recover his previously despised lifestyle. The literate prose, competently read by Cotter Smith, cannot compensate for the shallowness of the characters in this abridged version. Still, this classic suburban tragedy may appeal to the many listeners who enjoy social commentary associated with violence.
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A thriller involving obsession, murder, and the man who seems to "have it all".
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Ben Bradford has it all a beautiful wife and two healthy young sons a big house in an affluent connecticut suburrb partnership at a prestigious manhattan law firm but scratch the surface and you'll find a deeply unhappy man once upon a time ben dreamed of becoming a pototgrapher instead he spends his days in a fossilized wall street office fantasizing about escaping into his private darkroom away from the daily corporate grind and the disapproving gaze of his wife Beth who it seems simply doesnt like him anymore
reviewed The Big Picture on
Ben Bradford is a successful Wall Street lawyer living a comfortable life: living in the affluent suburbs of Connecticut; married to a beautiful woman named Beth, father to two healthy, handsome little boys, with a partnership in a prestigious law firm. His life certainly seems enviable, but scratch the surface of Ben Bradford's ostensibly perfect life, and you'd find a deeply unhappy man - teetering on the precipice of a mid-life crisis. His job is an absolute snore; he'd much rather be at home, in his private darkroom, pursuing his true passion of photography. In fact, Ben is completely worn down by living the corporate daily grind, and Beth seems like she simply doesn't like him anymore.

Heartbroken by the sudden revelation that Beth is having an affair with the next door neighbor, Ben begins to panic. Desperate to keep his crumbling marriage together, he tries everything he can think of to reconcile with his wife. However, all his efforts at reconciliation are rebuffed; Beth wants a divorce. When an unexpected confrontation with his wife's lover suddenly turns ugly, a split second is all it takes to change Ben's life forever, leaving him with only one way out of his predicament. But if he takes it, there will be no turning back...

While this is the first book that I've ever read by Douglas Kennedy, I do have one more of his books sitting on my bookshelf. I absolutely loved The Big Picture by Douglas Kennedy - it was well-written, edgy and dramatic - in my opinion, just an overall thrilling story. I give this book an A+!
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Funny! Reverse of your typical murder story. A guy murders his wife's lover but no matter what he does--changing identities--moving to a remote town, luck follows him and he can't be caught. A nice twist on the usual plot lines, and a funny read.
reviewed The Big Picture on + 579 more book reviews
a quarter of an hour ago, i was a model amarican, now total decimation.and it didnt take 15 minutes.