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It seems unlikely that a book about an apocalyptic catastrophe could be boring, but this book pulls it off. These characters are stilted and are just too dumb to live. Scene after scene does not make sense. The family is starving and they know a neighbor with lots of food is dead yet it takes forever before it occurs to them they should go get the food. The actions of the characters just don't seem real. It was like Ozzie and Harriet meets H1N1. I can see that there were plot reasons for all the stupidity, but the author has put setting up minor plot elements above believable characters.
17 of 20 people found this review helpful
...or unlikeable characters.
A pity. I've read two other books by this author and really liked them. This (her first novel) is amazingly boring and annoying. That's a real feat. It's not often that a possible apocalypse is so deadly dull.
When the reader doesn't care if all the main characters die--and in fact may wish the main character (Ann) and her obnoxious older daughter (95% of her dialogue is her saying mean or snotty things) succumb to the avian flu, that's a problem. As for the rest: the ex husband is boring but decent and intelligent, unlike his horrid ex-wife; his foreign grad student was a missed opportunity--her character was not at all explored; the 8-yr-old daughter was the only one who was likeable albeit not particularly interesting.
The book was about 4 hours too long. I "fast forwarded" through those last hours. Just way too much internal dialogue/thoughts from the awful Ann. Things take way too long to happen--even boring things: Did we really need to listen to 4 minutes of Ann trying to find her keys and all her thoughts about where they could be? Who could have moved them? No, surely not Peter--he wouldn't have done that, and on and on for 4 minutes. So very much of the book was like that.
The audio narrator didn't really help things either.
The only part I liked: the epilogue.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful