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As other reviewers have mentioned, this novel is slow paced and meandering -- not "edge of seat" detective fiction. That doesn't mean it is "pointless." In fact, it's a rich, engrossing immersion in 1950s West Indies, with all its beautiful and hideous social-historical baggage, captured in the conversation of one night.
I am very glad that I listened to rather than read this gem because the narrator's delivery of Clarke's rich dialogue adds value to this GREAT novel. I love good detective fiction as much as any other Audible listener, but don't download this if you're looking only for that.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I chose this book because it was read by Robin Miles, one of my favorite narrators and because it was set in the Caribbean but like the two previous reviewers, I had to give up. The story kept dragging and dragging - no climax, no form. Not enjoyable at all. Sorry.
What disappointed you about The Polished Hoe?
It was a long rambling story with a very disappointing and unrealistic end
What could Austin Clarke have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
Made it shorter and more focused.It was unclear what he was trying to do in this book. He started to say something about a specific subject then deviated and rambled for another two chapters and seemed to forgot the original point he was making, leaving the reader frustrated. His historical timelines were all askew which made the book unbelievable. Events narrated graphically in the book could not have taken place in the historical timelines he described. He kept contradicting himself in that respect Although the topic he was dealing with (the relationship between the Plantocracy and slaves in a specific Caribbean island is not an easy one to handle in a palatable way, it has been done by other authors such as Andrea Levy and in a different scenario by Northcroft. The events he narrated were not impossible but highly improbable especially the consequences he proports for the non ruling classes. This author seemed to have been bent more at criticizing what happened historically from a political perspective rather than telling a palatable believable story.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Any additional comments?
This had the potential to be a good book but the story did not grab me and I felt more frustration than enjoyment reading this book. It was a chore to complete.I just wanted to know if in the end he would redeem himself but he did not.