Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The Book Of Air And Shadows - Michael Gruber
Amazon.com states "Tap-tapping the keys and out come the words on this little screen, and who will read them I hardly know. I could be dead by the time anyone actually gets to read them, as dead as, say, Tolstoy. Or Shakespeare. Does it matter, when you read, if the person who wrote still lives? These are the words of Jake Mishkin, whose seemingly innocent job as an intellectual property lawyer has put him at the centre of a deadly conspiracy and hunt to find a priceless treasure connected to William Shakespeare. As he awaits a killer-or killers-unknown, Jake writes an account of the events that led to this deadly endgame, a frantic chase that began when a fire in an antiquarian bookstore revealed the hiding place of letters containing a shocking secret, concealed for four hundred years. In a frantic race from New York to England and Switzerland, Jake finds himself matching wits with a shadowy figure who seems to anticipate his every move. What at first seems like a thrilling puzzle waiting to be deciphered soon turns into a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, where no one -- not family, not friends, not lovers -- is to be trusted."
This had the potential to be a great book. The story was there, the characters were really interesting and the writing was pretty good. I guess the problem was that the book was too long for the amount of story that was there. It was 450+ pages and could have been finished in 300. It dragged on. It really sucks because I really loved the characters in the beginning, Jake Mishkin is such an awesome character. I loved how I was always surprised by his character and how he didn't fit into any box that I created for him in my mind. This was a really character driven book - everyone had quirks and there was a lot of humour in them.
After every chapter there is a chapter written by Bracegirdle, a man from the 1600's. This is written in old English and I found it pretty hard to get into. To be honest I totally skimmed some of these chapters. I kept wanting to get to the chapters with the action - cause there was plenty of that, I am not sure even now how I really feel about the book. I wanted to like it a lot more then I actually did. Maybe my hopes are to high for stories involving mysteries and books - I have read so many excellent ones that I expect them all to be that way.
Rating - 3