Treasure Box - Audio Cassette - Unabridged Author:Orson Scott Card, Dick Hill (Narrator) Quentin Fears is a restless, reclusive multi-millionaire who meets his dream woman, Madeleine, on a rare outing to a high society party. Though he's usually more circumspect about such things, he falls instantly in love and they marry in a matter of weeks. Their relationship is idyllic until he meets Mad's multi-generational, cantankerous, eccen... more »tric family that lives in a rambling riverside estate. But the dysfunctional activities are not all that is wrong with them. What's really wrong is that many are dead, returned from the grave just to bicker. Beyond the squabbling there is an ancient family secret to which only Mad has the key. Will Quentin be drawn deeper into this evil family or will he and Mad live happily ever after? Read by Dick Hill Unabridged Library Edition, 6 cassettes, 9 hrs.« less
This is one of Card's suspense/horror novels, in the vein of "Lost Boys" and "Magic Street"; so if you are a fan of his scifi Ender series, you may not enjoy this book.
But if you also like horror novels, this is a good one...not very gory, not very scary, but the plot is interesting and the writing, as always, is excellent. Quentin Fears, who has become a millionaire recluse, has never really accepted his sister Lizzy's death. He becomes embroiled in a mystery that causes him to deal with his sister's death, his own life, and to look at just what life and death mean, when he falls in love and marries a mysterious woman named Madeline. It turns out to be a terrible mistake, and it might be a fatal one.
When naive computer-nerd and millionaire Quentin Fears meets the woman of his dreams at a posh Washington, D.C., party and then marries her, he thinks his life is complete. But in this low-key horror novel, appearances can't be trusted and people aren't always in control of their actions. Although Madeleine seems quite sophisticated, there are deficits in her memory and her background is vague. She claims a large, well-to-do family but invites no relatives to the wedding. When Quentin finally meets his in-laws at their palatial Upstate New York mansion, they strike him as eccentric, almost as cartoons of real people. The domineering grandmother, whom Madeleine hates, sits in a trance, eyes closed, refusing to speak. There are hints of past child abuse?and of the possibility that a young boy may have been murdered. Why do so many of Madeleine's relatives have names identical to those buried in the family cemetery? And why doesn't Madeleine leave any footprints in the snow? Although the story moves toward a powerful climax, its primary pleasures are more subtle: strong character development and complex motivations, a mystery to solve, the discovery of wheels within wheels. It's rare that Card, renowned for his science fiction (see the review of his Children of the Mind, below), switches genres. But when he does, here as in his Lost Boys (1992), there's little lost and a rare pleasure gained.
DreamSE22 reviewed Treasure Box (Audio Cassette) (Unabridged) on
Helpful Score: 3
This book definitely wasn't one of Orson Scott Card's better novels. The first 130 pages were very slow, and I think Card could have summed up Quentin's life and the relationship with Madeleine more efficiently. After the 130 page mark I got excited about the direction the book was taking, and I wondered if it would end up like Palahniuk's Fight Club or Matheson's Somewhere in Time. However, I was quickly disappointed as I kept reading because nothing was really happening. I felt that the book didn't have much a plot until the last few chapters.
I definitely think OSC should stick to writing books with stronger sci-fi/fantasy themes.
From Library Journal
At age 11, Quentin Fears is devastated by his older sister Lizzy's death. Subsequently, he grows up to be a lonely man, obsessed with memories of Lizzy. He becomes extremely wealthy, yet everything he does centers around Lizzy. He even picks a wife who reminds him of her. Madeleine, the woman with whom he falls in love and marries in a matter of weeks, turns out to be an apparition invented by an evil witch. Once the story turns to Quentin's wife and her family, the plot degenerates into the script of a B-movie, with wild explanations for the comings and goings of ghosts and the mysterious treasure box that Madeleine wants her new husband to open. Card, the author of many highly acclaimed works (e.g., Children of the Mind, Tor, 1996) is more handy with quick and witty dialog than story content. There is not enough humor here it to be funny and not enough horror or fantasy for it to be either. Recommended only for large collections.?Shirley Gibson Coleman, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib, Mich.