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Here is a book full of everything one would expect in a tale about the Tinseltown glitterati: sex, politics, war, love, and the stories people tell. Ten Days in the Hills is a Hollywood yarn as only Smiley could deliver.
"Scintillating....Smiley delivers a delightful, subtly observant send-up of Tinseltown folly, yet she treats her characters, their concern with compelling surfaces, and their perpetual quest to capture reality through artifice, with warmth and seriousness." (Publishers Weekly)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kristi Warriner on 04-22-07
Smiley strikes out
I often list Jane Smiley as my favorite author. She is able to inhabit diverse environments from the world of realtors to Iowa farmers to horse racing to the life of a university research pig as though she spent a lifetime in each environ.
With Ten Days in the Hills she seems to have lost her authority. Unlike anything I have ever read of Jane Smiley's this book does not sound authentic. Smiley usually takes unsympathic characters and gives them a humanity that makes them seem real. These characters remain unappealing.
I thought that some of the reviews that I read before purchasing Ten Days were biased against Smiley because she is very liberal. Well, so am I and I find the politics in this book to be almost a caricature of what a neo-conservative would think of a liberal.
In addition, I find the narration grating. So much so that perhaps I wouldn't find the book to be so poor if I didn't have the narrators horrible voice characterizations in my head. Nearly unlistenable.
I anxiously await Jane Smiley's next book. She is so good that I can imagine that this one is just an aberration.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Evelyn M Kloepper on 09-01-07
doubting thomas chastized
I have read several books by Jane Smiley and loved every one of them. So I simply couldn't believe all the negative comments her latest book provoked and had to listen for myself. Well, I'll know better next time. I gave up after three hours. Boring, pointless navel gazing and musing. What were the critics thinking? Dear fellow readers, I'll take your warnings seriously next time..
6 of 7 people found this review helpful