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Hardcover Like a Charm: A Novel in Voices Book

ISBN: 0060583304

ISBN13: 9780060583309

Like a Charm: A Novel in Voices

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

New York Times bestselling authors including Karin Slaughter, Lee Child, Peter Robinson, Laura Lippman, John Connolly, and others, combine their talents to deliver a brilliant tour-de-force in this... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

I hope the writers have improved with age.

I found the stories depressing and short on any redeeming value. I would not recommend the book to any of my friends.

sucessful collection

The basis of this short-story collection is an original and intriguing one: each story, while entirely independent, follows the life of a charm bracelet, from its creation in Georgia in 1803, through time and across oceans, until it eventually ends up back in Georgia again. In each story, the bracelet plays its part, almost always brining bad luck to the one who has come to possess it. It's a short-story collection that could almost be read as a quirky novel. The only downside to this idea is that the connections of each story, through the life of the charm bracelet, should in some cases be made a lot clearer - once or twice it was hard or impossible to create a logical connection between one story and the next, and the old "so and so bought in an Pawn/Antique Shop" device was greatly overused - then as a whole this collection would be more powerful than it is. The stories are incredibly varied; set in times and places as different as the American South in the 19th century to wartime Leeds in the 20th. In one, an accusation has dire consequences. In another, a train journey becomes anything but mundane. A sax player ends up getting more than he bargained for when he does a favour for a friend. A school-teacher's outing to London turns altogether more twisted. And a desperate writer makes a fateful purchase in exchange for inspiration...I am very much a devotee of the short-story; they are perfect for slotting into a dead half-hour, ideal if you want a single-sitting read. Quick pleasure, instant satisfaction - if they're of quality. And, if you pick right - maybe one of Ruth Rendell's beautifully twisted masterpieces, of Ian McEwan's elegant, concise works - then they can be just as good as a novel. While the stories here aren't really of that quality (well, except for one; I'll get to that in a minute) they do align into a very good, entertaining and satisfying collection. Each piece is taut and well-tuned, written with the sharp succinctity and ability to shock that marks out the best of the form. Some of the writers you will have heard of: Peter Robinson, Mark Billingham, and Lee Child, for example. Others maybe not: Emma Donohue, for example, whose story "Vanitas" is an excellent little piece set on a plantation in the South. And Peter Moore Smith, or Jerrilyn Farmer, writer of the penultimate story "The Eastlake School", a twisted piece of brilliance. There are definitely a couple of writers here whose work I will be endeavouring to find out more about after reading this. You may too. Here, all the stories are good (that is pleasing in itself - in every collection there are normally one or two mis-fires) but some of them are excellent: Robinson's "Cornelius Jubb", for example, or "Plan B" by Kelley Armstrong, to name just two among several. However, one story here does stand far, far above them all, and that is John Connolly's "The Inkpot Monkey". It's the sort of story of which one might say "it alone is worth the price of this book", but

suspenseful interrelated compilation thriller

This sixteen collection anthology revolves around a charm bracelet that brings misfortune to the holder. The tales are unique yet build off where the previous story left off. Beginning in the Georgia Mountains in 1803, continuing in 1839 and on into the twentieth century, the bracelet moves from one ill-fated soul whose story is unfolded until at the end of the tale, another person holds the bracelet and his or her story is told in the next chapter.The fifteen contributors (Karin Slaughter opens and closes the anthology) seem to have enjoyed adding their spin to the book because all the inputs are well written and loaded with action and suspense. The "charmed characters" surprisingly for the most part come across as genuine regardless of their era and location (the bracelet gets around). LIKE A CHARM is gimmicky, but fans of interconnected short stories will appreciate this delightful thriller that lives up to its title as readers will enjoy this suspenseful interrelated compilation.Harriet Klausner
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