(I’m bummed tonight. I stopped for groceries, and not only has my usual store rearranged the sections again [for the sole purpose, I’m convinced, of trying to get us to look at stuff we’ve already decided we don’t want to buy], but Banquet TV Dinners appears to have discontinued their Yankee Pot Roast meal. The things that made the Yankee Pot Roast irreplaceable were not only that it tasted surprisingly good, but it was only 210 calories. Oh yeah, and it was cheap. I’ll never stay on my diet now, and it’ll be all Banquet’s fault.
(Another Klavan review, this one from June, 2006. It has the distinction of being the only book of his that I’ve panned. It’s a stinker.)
I’ve been gushing over the books of Andrew Klavan recently (found one I hadn’t read in the store tonight—hurrah!). However, I feel obligated to warn you about one of them.
I finished The Animal Hour the other day. It’s one of Klavan’s earlier books, and I get the impression it was a kind of an experiment.
In my opinion, the experiment didn’t succeed.
It starts out with a great hook. A young woman in New York City goes in to her job and starts to settle down at her desk, when another woman comes into her office and asks her what she’s doing there. The conversation becomes a confrontation, and soon a number of employees have gathered. It quickly becomes clear that no one there has ever seen her before.
That’s a terrific start. Unfortunately, at least to my taste, the rest of the book doesn’t live up to it.
The mechanics of a great thriller are all there. Suspense mounts, and mysteries abound.
The problem is with an element that’s usually Klavan’s strong suit—the characters. There were very few characters in this book who raised my sympathy much. Most of them were creepy in one or several ways.
Also the gore level was high.
Also Christianity didn’t come off looking very good.
I’d skip this one.