Friday, February 25, 2011

Scooby Doo, Where Are You?


Kindle you have been wonderful, but really, The Hangman's Daughter? Overall, it was pretty bad. And now I am spending precious minutes commenting on this poor novel with the hope that you too will not squander your life away.

When you have a Kindle, or probably any other e-reader, you can view the top rated downloads and instantly (but, of course!) read reviews. This book was #1 for Kindle downloads, only $3.99, and it had gotten one rave review after another.  After reading most of the book, I checked the reviews again, and the negative comments had multiplied. I came across a review that said the plot reminded him of Scooby-Doo-- The evil guy is after those pesky kids. That put the nail on the head.

The general gist of the book: A hangman from a long line of hangmen in a small Bavarian town has to execute someone he knows is innocent. In order to make peace with his conscience, he tries to find out who is guilty. The crime? Murdering small children and practicing witchcraft.

The plot plods on and on. The characters are 2-dimensional. The writing is unsophisticated- it felt like a middle school novel. But i did finish it (what if it got better?).

In the end I decided 2 things:

  1. The book was translated, and it could have been well written in German. If the writing was elevated, it would have made the book a lot better. So it may be the fault of the translation.
  2. It was a mostly true story about the author's family (which I didn't find out until after i finished it)...this makes it a lot more interesting in hindsight.
Sorry Germany, you'll have to wait a bit more for your Steig Larrson...but it may happen some day. On Goodreads I gave it 2/5 stars. I did finish it.

Now on to a (hopefully) better novel- Cutting the Stone. It's probably a good sign that this one didn't turn up on Kindle's most downloaded list.



  1. I love that you finished reading it even though you didn't like it! Last night, we had rented a movie that we (I) had forgotten we'd seen... not super impressed with it the second time around, either. But we had to finish it, just in case!

  2. Did you mean "Cutting FOR Stone"? I'm in the middle of the old fashioned heavy clunky book version of it. It'll be interesting to compare notes!

  3. whoops mary...yes, cutting FOR stone. we'll have to chat about it :)