I had read many good reviews of this book, I was hopeing that I would not be disappointed. I was not - this is an excellent, excellent book. The author is a masterful storyteller, keeping you engrossed the entire time, giving away only a little information at a time, not revealing too much ahead of time. I don't want to say too much, it would give away too much of the story, all I can say is that you must read this book!
What a great novel! I can't say enough about how this book catches you up in the story line so you forget everything you ever knew about The Great Gatsby. I highly suggest you review the Great Gatsby before reading this book by Bohjalian, but it's not really necessary. And the twists and turns you'll follow makes you think you have experienced a double bind, too. Not to be missed if you are looking for great word crafting, mind bending, and/or light mystery.
This was an insanely awesome book! I COULD NOT put it down until it was completely finished. And even then, I went back through to reread a few parts. I can't even put it into words how good this was - all I can say is "YOU'VE GOTTA READ IT!".
This is a 10+ on a 1-10 scale--but you MUST read Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatzby" first for context. Laurel Estabrook is a social worker in a homeless shelter, who was severely attacked 7 years ago, while out for a bike ride. After one of her clients dies, she "inherits" a box of photographs, which intrigue her because so many of the settings are places from her past. She grew up in the same neighborhood as the Gatsby house, which appears in the photos, and one picture even appears to be herself on the day she was attacked. She sets out to discover who her client really was and becomes obsessed with the pursuit.
I'm not sure what to think of this book...but it's hard to shake off. The story becomes creepier, slowly and quietly, as you move with Laurel toward the solving of her mystery. An acquaintance with "The Great Gatsby" would be helpful to draw on as you read this book.
This book was interesting. As I read along, I kept getting distracted by how unbelievable parts of the story are. It all comes together in the end in a somewhat surprising twist. I don't know what to think about this author, I loved one of his books, hated another, and this sort of fell in that in-between place for me. The writing style is intelligent and interesting, but the stories don't all come together for me in the end.
I thought this book was brilliantly written. The style seemed kind of dry at first, but then it really drew me in and I had to keep reading to find out the story behind the pictures. If I said any more, I'd ruin it for those who haven't read it - I highly recommend this book!
When I was partway through this book I felt like it was literary enough for a book group and page turning enough for a beach read, but the dark ending has me rethinking that assessment. It's a powerful story and raises important social issues (homelessness, violence against women) as well as a more philosophical one (the trust a reader gives a writer). I think it has done what good writing is supposed to do by challenging the reader, but I can't say that I liked the ending, instead feeling somewhat betrayed. The mystery is compelling and I can't wait to discuss it with my book group. I'd hesitate to recommend it to someone who won't have a group with whom to debrief about it.
UGH, I started skimming through the last third of the book to get it finished. I found it tiresome and boring - I just didn't care about the big mystery, and failed to see any motivation driving any of the characters. A total waste of time.
This is definitely worth reading...the ending is totally surprising. The clues are all there but don't mean anything to the reader because the events are seen through one person's eyes. I'd give it a "whoa" rating.
This is a complicated book and the ending takes you by complete surprise, and it's not too often that I feel like that. It will probably be mildly disturbing to those who are not prepared to deal with understanding the aftermath of a sexual attack. Like Alice Sebold's Lucky, it can be raw and tough and brutal in its straightforwardness about how survivors struggle with relationships and other life issues. I am glad I read it, and it make me think about these issues more deeply.
What a surprise ending! You're reading along this very well written tale of homelessness, social workers, fully engaged in the main character's tragic past and her efforts to help a client posthumously, and BAM! Very good!
This book was engrossing and surprising. I had to read the ending a couple of times just to make sure I understood what I was reading, not because it was hard but because it was such a surprise. Really great read!
Laura Estabrook is brutally attacked and her life is forever changed. This cat-and-mouse game had me wondering just who is trying to save whom and then the twist at the end changed my entire perception. Now I want to read it again!
The Double Bind was my first Chris Bohjalian novel i had ever read. I have read alot of books, but to keep this straight and simple...this is the first book that ever truely made my mouth drop open at the ending. It was a stunner. I have long traded this and long wished that i had it still to read again, something i rarely do. I'll never forget it.
My husband and I started this on a trip, and before the first cd even ended, we shut it off because we were bored. I then forgot to take a new book on my next trip and since this was still in the car, I played it. It sort of, maybe, could possibly, have been getting a bit more interesting, but, I then realized that the reader was doing a horrendous job on the heroine, making her breathy, wispy, fragile. From then on, the whole thing just annoyed me. Get on with some kind of story, I kept thinking. Too much repeating! Nothing really happening...nothing. Boy, this book could use a good abridgment, I kept thinking, and I usually don't care for abridgments. Then I checked the box. It IS an abridgment! This is my third Bohjalian book, and I was mesmerized by Midwives, thought Tran-sister was fair, but after this one, I won't be reading or listening to any more by him.
This book does not even get one star from me (although I had to rate it something or I could not leave this review). I can't give a proper review without revealing the big "twist" so I will just say this...the plot seemed that it wasn't thought out very well. Horrible writing. It seems Bohjalian took his readers for fool's. At the big reveal ending you will look back and say "now how could that be"?. What a waste of time!!
I loved this book. I think that Bohjalian did a masterful job of bringing together all the elements into one very surprising ending. I obviously am not as perceptive as some of the reviewers - it crept up on me and I was stunned. I was initially apprehensive about the fictionalization of fiction - particularly since it involved one of my favorite books - but I now understand why it was done and why it was necessary. I hate when reviewers give a synopsis of the book for those who read the reviews before reading the book. Suffice it to say, this is a worthwhile read. I am an even more confirmed fan of Chris Bohjalian.
Claudia W. reviewed The Double Bind (Audio CD) (Abridged) on
Helpful Score: 1
I picked up this book at a Goodwill,and it sat on the shelf for.months. Last night,I decided to read it. By the second chapter,I knew I was in this book 'til the end.5am,I finished it,all I can say is "WOW". I like the way this man writes,for me,I like the book to build up,and not share it's secrets 'till the end.That being said,I was blown away by the ending.Was I not paying attention/Did I take too much for granted(In my own mind,what I thought Was going to happen?).At any rate I really enjoyed this book,and I look forward to reading another of his. Any suggestions?
If you are not familiar with "The Great Gatsby" you will probably be confused by this book.
The story is about a young woman who was viciously assaulted a few years earlier. She ends up working in a homeless shelter where she meets an old man with a portfolio of photographs, including some which suggest that F. Scott Fitzgerald's characters Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan were real people. She is on a hunt to discover the true identify of this homeless man and why he has photos of Daisy Buchanan and the rest of her crowd.
The narration is very good but the story just didn't hold my interest.
There is a "surprise" ending that probably won't be much of a shocker.
ehhhh......Overall I liked this book. But the ending was brought together to quickly. Would make a good movie. Easy quick read, and it did keep me interested. However I just had to many questions at the end. A little more could have been done as an epilogue.
Blah. Maybe I'm just not sophisticated enough, but I did not enjoy this book very much. The ending was the best part and made me consider reading it again to pick up on things I may have missed the first time around. Perhaps one needs to be much more familiar with "The Great Gatsby" to truly appreciate this read by a typically great author.
At first I wasn't sure whether or not I liked this book. After a few days of reflection, I've decided I don't like it very much. This particular plot twist has just worn out its welcome for me. Over all, I don't regret the time spent listening to this audio cd (it made my Atlanta commute more tolerable), but I don't recommend it either.
I know this book has had great reviews, but I was somewhat disappointed. I thought it moved too slowly. The photographs are great. The ending is almost unexpected, but there are hints here and there. That all having been said, if you like this author you should definitely read this.
I really enjoyed this book.The author makes you think twice about the story. I found myself that I had to go back and reread the story.Never saw it comming.A great story about a woman and what she has to go through after having a bike accident,.This writer sure knows how to tell a story.I highly recommend this book I think you wont be sorry.I also enjoyed the pictures of the famous people in the book. some I could recognize some I couldnt.
I really enjoyed the characters of The Great Gatsby being turned into real, live people in this book. I actually found myself questioning whether Fitzgerald's classic novel was based on a true story! Of course, I had to re-read Gatsby after so many years the second I was through with Double Bind. You'll probably want to do the same, so make sure you've got a copy on hand while in possession of this book.
On the negative side... I hate when I'm told ahead of time that a book or movie "has a twist at the end". My mind automatically goes into sleuth-mode and any "surprise" is figured out midway through. Which stinks, because I think the book would have been awesome otherwise. So, I'm sorry for throwing that out there along with a few other reviewers on this page, but the point is to let others know to STOP DOING THAT FROM NOW ON! Yes, M. Night Shaymalan, I'm talking to you.
I highly recommend this book. Chris Bohjalian is an outstanding storytellar, one of the best authors in circulation. His attention to detail, character development, unique and surprising plot lines, and more make his stories top notch. This story was captivating from beginning to end, and the ending was absolutely not at ALL what I was expecting. His stories are dark, and usually cringe-worthy, but not depressing. I have read several, and am a big fan.
Highly original and compellingly readable. This clever book uses the classic novel The Great Gatsby to create something entirely new. A young woman's traumatic experience causes her to seek a new direction in her life. She finds it in the photographs of a homeless man that seem to strangely connect to her life and her past. The novel stands alone, but will be even more interesting if you know Gatsby.
I have very mixed feelings about this book. I quickly became absorbed in the story and finished it in short order -- however, I did not feel rewarded by my effort. I came to care for Laurel and I did not enjoy the [Spoiler Alert!] mental deterioration that she experienced during the course of the novel. The twist at the end was especially unpleasant and I felt empty rather than fulfilled. I reread The Great Gatsby soon afterward and it is a much better book. I cannot recommend The Double Bind.
Great story! Loved Bohjalian's Midwives, and this book is just as good. The main character is a very damaged woman. The reader will be engrossed in her quest to unravel a mystery. The ending is mind-blowing! The book also gives the reader great insights into the world of the homeless.
Meh . . . really enjoyed the Buffalo Soldier, but this one kind of lost me. Yes, there was a twist at the end, but I kept asking myself in the middle of this book "is this really worth finishing?" Passed my "50 page test" in the beginning, but not by much. I don't know . . . I guess I would give one more of his books a try, but wouldn't necessarily recommend this one. No doubt he's a talented writer, but there were some story lines that just didn't come together for me.
Teresa C. reviewed The Double Bind (Audio CD) (Abridged) on
Don't be fooled by the mild descriptions of violence in the beginning. Even though it is fairly well written, it gets darker and darker and creepier. I have a teenage daughter and I wish I hadn't read it!
I loved this book! It really kept me guessing. I think Chris Bohjalian is a great author. I read what may have been his first book about a house. It was titled Hangman, and I rarely see it listed with his most current, popular books. I enjoyed it though. I don't scare easily; however, I found myself a little creeped out while reading it late at night. Try it too if you ever see it!
Although very dry, the writing style was brilliant. The story line started losing my interest after a few chapters but I never allowed myself to quit reading and the ending made the entire book worthwhile.
This book has the most shocking ending I've ever encountered! The main character is completely believable, and the author wove hints but was very clever in misleading the reader to believe something entirely different. I did not see it coming in the least, and was totally unnerved... Great read! D.
I have never read any of Bohjalians works before. I enjoyed this one and plan to read more of his books. I enjoyed the subject matter of this novel & found myself quite surprised at some of the authours reveals during this story.
I would certainly recommend.
After reading all the good reviews on this book, I started it with eager anticipation. I have to say, sadly, I was kind of bored with it. Not enough going on - I thought the whole assocation with the Great Gatsby story was weird. The ending was twisted and surprising, but by then I didn't care enough to go back and rethink everything that had happened. I give it 3 stars.