Golden State by Ben H. Winters

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2 Responses

  1. Jochem Frank says:

    Really nice (& more importantly, fair) review. I was willing to overlook any number of faults the book/story/approach threw in my path, but the muddled ending finally caused my patience to run out. But as the book was already over, what’s the point of feeling annoyed?

    To be honest, I like to see myself as a fairly well-read and savvy reader, but the book’s ending made no sense to me. What was the pay-off? None that I could finished it rather frustrated. the premise and the (lack of) payoff seemed so disconnected to me that I felt the author had the start of one book, the end of another, and needing to meet a deadline jammed the two together.

    Trying not to spoil it for someone who has yet to read the book, but questions abound! Charlie’s status, role, and ultimate destiny? Arlo’s status/role? Why did the judge do what he did? Why wasn’t the Expert & Doonan’s roles in all of this more fully elaborated? The Golden State in defiance of the Golden State? The exiled world? What a mess. Glad I’m not the only one to have issues with the book.

    Again, thanks for a well-written, on-point review. You did a far better job capturing my frustrations that I could have.

  2. Alex Yard says:

    Similar to the way you were able to forgive the faults initially while plowing through to the end, I suppose I was already jaded enough about halfway through so that once it got to the end with all those unexplained gaps in sensible character motivations, I had already let go of enough investment to even wonder about it. The true golden state in service of the fake golden state was the kicker, that I just had to tap out in regard to how much I cared. Like you said, mashing multiple ideas together in a blender is going to result in some unclear character arcs, and they are abound in this book! Thanks so much for commenting!

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