Tuesday, March 6, 2012

REVIEW and GIVEAWAY: All Her Father's Guns by James Warner


Cal Lyte, a gun-loving venture capitalist, is tired of paying alimony to his ex-wife Tabytha. Plotting to blackmail her and derail her campaign for Congress, he enlists the help of their daughter's boyfriend, British academic Reid Seyton, to unearth some Lyte family secrets. But the results turn out to be more than anyone bargained for, in an escalating cycle of revelations that will leave nobody's life the same.

  • ISBN-13: 9780984260027
  • Publisher: Vox Novus
  • Publication date: 1/7/2011
  • Pages: 200

About the Author
from the back of the book

James Warner comes from England and lives in San Francisco. His short fiction has appeared in various literary magazines. Readers can visit his website: www.jameswarner.net.

My Thoughts
I was playing footsie under the restaurant table with my girlfriend Lyllyan, while her father, Cal, tried to persuade me all kindergarteners should be trained in the use of handguns.
First the good news: I like the cover. It has a bit of a noir feel to it. I like the contrasting red and black, the font and text layout, and I even like the feel of the paper cover, which is thick and almost velvety. Very decadent!

Now for the bad news:

I am not a fan of this book. Quite simply, it left me confused and unsatisfied.

At nearly a quarter of the way through the book, I found myself still totally clueless over what it was about. It seemed to be just a lot of rambling minutiae about the characters’ daily lives, and I'd been unable to discern any actual plot.

This is a book with ADD. It is all over the place, rambling and scattered, and without much structure. I found myself totally lost. If this were a book of average length, I may have put it down and marked it “DNF” (Did Not Finish). However since this book was under 200 pages, I felt that I had to try to finish it, and see whether or not it made sense in the end. (It didn't.)

Confusing, scattered and ridiculous, there was still a hint of some insane genius underlying it all. I kept feeling as if I just drank some of that hallucinogenic “shroom tea" that teens in this area brew and drink after a night foraging in the cow pastures, I might actually get this book and wind up thinking it was a brilliant read!

But occasionally there would be a passage that I found striking in its imagery.
“What was freaky about Guatemala was the way a tourist economy co-existed with a four-decade civil war. You could see a boat on a lake, but no one would tell you it was dredging the lake for the corpse of a priest. You could see the beauty of the landscape, but not the anonymous mass graves it concealed. Then again, wasn’t that true of anywhere on Earth, if you thought back far enough?

Beauty’s just the skin over the abyss.” (page 107)
This book just wasn't for me. That isn't to say that it was "bad". It was written by an obviously bright and intelligent individual, if a little "off-kilter", but the writing style was too "out there" for me. I just couldn't follow it. Maybe it's 30 years without any drugs in my system that has done me in.

My final word: Preposterous!

My Rating: 5.5 out of 10

But don't let my review stop you. This book has garnered a lot of great reviews! So obviously this is just a case of a book not being a good fit for me. And since I would love to give the author another shot at a another great review, I'm giving away my copy to someone else to read and review (although I hate giving up this book cover-- I love to rub my fingers across it!)

GIVEAWAY: Win my gently read paperback of All Her Father's Guns by James Warner

Enter using Rafflecopter below...

a Rafflecopter giveaway Please note that this book is being shipped by me, and will be shipped without insurance or tracking. Therefore I am at the mercy of the post office. So far no book that I've shipped has been lost by them, but I can make no guarantees!

Good Luck! Ready, Set, Go!


I received a copy of this book to review from the author, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel.

1 comment:

Debbie Kennedy said...

I would likely post a review on Goodreads when I have an opportunity to read it.
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