I doubt I could write a better book review of ‘Grist Mill Road’ than Sarah Lyall has.
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Gets better and better as you learn more about the characters! The details of the characters' lives draw you in and create understanding and sympathy. "A sophisticated... elegant narrative." - The New York Times
This was a complex smart thriller, at least for the first half of the book. The second half was a bit bogged down and my enthusiasm dropped.
The first half was easy reading and I had my doubts. However, the second half of the story picked up the pace and it was hard to put down. It's not about the story but rather about how the characters deal with their past - coming of age with angry parents, confused sexuality. The author even injects wry wit in unexpected placed. This book was just the break I needed from a few heavy reads.
Christopher J. Yate’s sophomore thriller “Grist Mill Road” has a bravura opening scene: an adolescent boy watches as his slightly older friend fires a BB gun at a girl tied to tree, shooting her dozens of times and eventually putting out her eye. What led up to this seemingly senseless act and what happens when these people, now adults, reunite in the present day? These are the questions that drive this highly successful novel. Yates is a skilled craftsman who builds suspense and creates surprise by dividing his narrative and presenting it piecemeal. We slowly learn the full story of what happened in the past from the first-person points of view of each of the main characters. Meanwhile, Yates uses third-person narration to relate events in the present. As in his first book “Black Chalk,” Yates manages write a story that is surprising without having his characters behave absurdly. This is the kind of the thriller that restores my faith in thrillers.
I heard Hollywood was salivating over this book and it was on everyone's mind to be a feature, so I was excited to read the book. I'll keep this brief - don't expect much. I kept turning pages saying"...okay....annnd..." . The ending is rushed, nonsensical and leaves A LOT to be desired. I can not believe the praise people heap upon mediocre writers who happen to scratch out a few pages of the most boring Cream of Wheat dribble I've read in a long time. I actually liked the no quotation marks of it all. Sigh, on to the next, as I wait for Fire & Fury to become available.
Sets the hook halfway through only to walk away from the damn pole.
The writing is incredibly good, the inner lives of some of the characters are described in vivid detail, definitely a cut above anything I've read lately. The chronological device is interesting, but the payoff is not worth the wait. I found the story implausible, and ultimately pulpy, a jarring juxtaposition of ringing true and ridiculously violent. By the end, I wasn't enjoying it any longer. If this were a movie, I would have fast forwarded to the ending.
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