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Caedmon's Song (2015)

Caedmon's Song (2015)

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3.65 of 5 Votes: 3
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0330426729 (ISBN13: 9780330426725)
pan macmillan

About book Caedmon's Song (2015)

Please read my full review at Casual Debris.Written before his popular series of books featuring Inspector Alan Banks, Peter Robinson apparently returned to the manuscript of Caedmon's Song in order to get a break from Banks. This Bankless novel follows two sets of narratives, one concerning graduating university student Kirsten who is brutally attacked in a park in Bath, and the other focusing on mysterious woman Martha Browne who appears in the fishing community of Whitby in search of someone. The story of the attacker, a serial killer, is based on the horrible crimes of Peter Sutcliffe, The Yorkshire Ripper.The novel is overall well written, with good, consistent prose and genuine sympathy toward the victims. It is however marred by a number of problems that drag the narrative considerably, mainly its uneven pacing, obvious direction and its unnecessary length.The poor pacing is partly the result of the separate narratives. Though each of the forty-seven chapters is short, each narrative's plot progression must be kept aligned in order for the stories to move along evenly. With much of the filler excised, the novel would have been far more effective, and due to its essentially predictable story-line, it would work more appropriately as a novella.Moreover, the novel's mystery and the links between the two narratives become obvious early on, so that the required element of tension is never developed. When the two narratives become more and more closely intertwined and beginning to meet, the novel as a whole begins to drag, making for cumbersome reading as we approach the finish line. I found myself skipping sentences in order to finish the book, knowing full well how it will end; page 247 of my edition truly looked like a finish line I was hurrying to reach.Finally, the novel features, albeit briefly, a crime worse than even murder: "...and a few dated pop albums: Rolling Stones, Wham, U2, David Bowie, Kate Bush, Tom Waits." First of all, how can anyone refer to Tom Waits as a pop singer? Secondly, he is among the most innovative of artists, transcending notions of genre. Finally, lumping him the likes of Wham, the short-lived epitome of 1980s pop and bad hair for men, is just insulting.

I pick this up from my mum's bookshelf, which is filled with charity books that she never reads. I chose it for a train journey and did not have high hopes. But it was a short book and I didn't expect to engage with it, so would be ok with not finishing it. How wrong I was! This is a classic 'don't judge a book by its cover' moment. Within the first few pages I was captured, and keen to know how the characters were linked and then once I knew was keen to know their journey.After finishing the book, I was left with a sense of satisfaction for the ending was not rushed - which can so often happen. And the ending, for me, was complete and signalled not a new chapter for the characters but a whole new part of their life. I understood how we had got to that point. Peter Robinson explains that he had written the book in the 1980s and it was published many years later. In reviewing it, he took a deliberate decision not to update the book. By modernising it, the story would not have worked. The psychological draw is indeed in the minute descriptive images that are provided and in the absence of technology. The modern world would not allow the characters to develop, or the story to be about discovery. And I could relate to the 1980s because I was part of that era, I was also left wondering whether Peter Robinson was a pseudonym for a female author because the story managed to get in to the mind of a woman - and does not appear to struggle with her perception. I would recommend this book as a very good, engaging and clever read.

Do You like book Caedmon's Song (2015)?

When I read the synopsis of Caedmon's Song, I thought it sounded exactly like the sort of book I'd enjoy. For one, I am a fan of Peter Robinson, and also, I liked the idea of a story centered around revenge.However, I was so, so frustrated by the end of the novel (and, I hate to admit, with Peter Robinson's depiction of Kirsten), that I felt a bit disappointed. Obviously, I respect Peter Robinson's view of the book, and I understand that he had to fight to keep the ending the way it was, but I d

An interesting psychological thriller where the tension just keeps ramping up as the story develops. In a Yorkshire city, university student Kirsten is viciously attacked on her way home after an end-of-term party and suffers serious injuries; in a parallel story, Martha arrives in Whitby, posing as an author researching a book, but secretly seeking a man. As the two stories continue in parallel, the link between Kirsten's and Martha's stories become more apparent and the tension mounts. Sadly, I thought more could have been made of the ending as it left much unanswered but overall a good story from the author of the DCI Banks' novels. 7.5/10.

A very different departure from his usual Inspector Banks books. I knew this from the get-go but still felt I might fall in love with the book. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Martha and Sue were strange. Kirsten was psychologically damaged and rightly so. I did not expect for her to ever be correct in choosing the man who harmed her and was surprised when she finally discovered that she did have the right one. Could the smell of fish on his hands and the linguistics she learned really have b

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