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All The Beautiful Sinners (2010)

All the Beautiful Sinners (2010)
3.77 of 5 Votes: 2
1590710088 (ISBN13: 9781590710081)
rugged land
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All The Beautiful Sinners (2010)
All The Beautiful Sinners (2010)

About book: I really wanted to like All the Beautiful Sinners because I really like Stephen Graham Jones. Not just the man—he’s really nice in person—but the idea of the man: He’s incredibly prolific and writes over several genres, this book being a thriller. By the end though, all the desire I had to enjoy All the Beautiful Sinners had morphed into disappointment. Deputy Sheriff Jim Doe, a Blackfeet Indian, chases after a killer who gunned down the town’s sheriff and has a history of abducting children. This man is Indian himself, causing several people to confuse the cop with the killer (a point that is amusing and well done). Three FBI profilers also join the hunt, but when Jones isn’t playing the interesting Indian angle, the characters dissolve into stereotypes: There’s the old profiler, Tim Creed, who is full of department credibility and a burning desire to solve the case that got away; the young profiler, Cody Mingus, who brings fresh eyes and fresh mistakes; and Special Agent Sheila Watts, who stands in the middle of their ages and experience. It all feels like a movie that should star Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd (or different actors who were willing to take their roles). Granted, Jones expands the plot beyond a lean script, makes it fit far better into a book than a movie, but there’s still that annoying thriller quirk of being stuck one step behind until the good guys figure out the killer’s convoluted logic. Whether it’s character history you don’t know until later or dialogue that doesn’t quite make sense, I always feel like thrillers unfairly turn over puzzle pieces too late, leaving a confusion that you can’t learn your way out of until the writer lets you. Having a novel full of that trick just ended up rubbing me the wrong way. Though Jones can convey very specific descriptions, it soon becomes overdone, adding unnecessary points to unnecessary points. Too many words, sometimes syllables of words, get italicized creating too much emphasis. I did like the novel’s commentary on fathers though, what it means to recreate yourself in another person. Jones’ ability to make you feel empathy for victims late in the novel is also impressive. Additionally, there were action sequences so well written that my face contorted in admiration of the oft gory descriptions. The novels sprawls over several dates and locations—marked as chapter headings—and the flashback chapters are among my favorite. Overall though, All the Beautiful Sinners reads like a novel you have to read several times to fully “get it,” but I didn’t get enough the first time around to warrant the repeat treatment. One star.

whoa. Don't read before going to bed...but then, I couldn't help myself because I couldn't stop reading. Complex, beautifully written. I borrowed a copy from the library, but am going to buy a copy to keep here at home. Tornadoes, disappearing children--both dead and alive--FBI, serial killers are all in this mystery/horror/thriller/hard to pin into one category (a good thing) novel.For me, hard to pin down words to accurately describe this novel, which means--you need to read it for yourself. :)
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I knew this one was gonna be complex and I wanted to reduce the confusion I often suffer from smaller reading doses, so I embraced masochism and read this in three days.Absolutely amazing. Rich prose, verby — full of velvety goodness. Even some of the subplots that at first only seem to serve as character-building devices end up being plot-relevant, so pay attention throughout. This may be the most character names ever introduced in one book, Bible excluded. . . Part of me wishes AtBS were about 100 pages (or a few town searches) shorter, but then we'd have been robbed of the brilliant passages that came with them. Every time I'd read one of the agents proclaim the equivalent of "we've got him," I'd feel the weight of the remaining pages in my right hand and realize their delusion.Well done, Jones!
Judy A
With its pyrotechnic plot, I felt like I was in a twilight state while reading this thriller with a Native-American theme. Its difficult to read once without returning to the beginning to devour the tale again with the ending and whole story known. I think one almost has to read it twice and I love that about this book but others hated that. Jim Doe, a Deputy Sheriff and Blackfeet Nation Indian (same as the killer) keeps finding he is mistaken for the killer, and that he this case found him on purpose. Doe's sister disappeared years before, described in an almost hypnotic format, and the case is very connected to his own life and what a tale it weaves! The pleasure is not in the cop and criminal chase or events themselves, it is all in the style of writing. A mind-blowing read!
I think this might actually be a genre preference issue. I appreciated that the plot was complex and unexpected, but I think I might just not enjoy serial killer mysteries. I read this right after The Autobiography of Malcolm X and it's fictional murders seemed contrived and staged in comparison. The dialogue, particularly when the villains spot, was especially contrived. I was even distracted by hot rapidly the book moved, which most people would complain about. I guess I'm just not used to thrillers. I appreciated a complex plot with distinct characters, but overall this mystery just wasn't my cup of tea.
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