Customer Reviews for

All He Ever Wanted: A Novel

Average Rating 3
( 86 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(24)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(21)

1 Star

(11)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 86 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 5
  • Posted October 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointed

    This was the first book I've read by Anita Shreve, I have to say I was disappointed.The book was very slow moving, and didn't really have much substance.I wouldn't recommend it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 30, 2009

    Forlorn

    This book was a bit depressing because you could tell from the start how it was going to end and it moved pretty slowly. It was written well in that the author really got across how hopeful he was without it sounding to boring and brought about a bit of sympathy for him. I kept wondering why he kept hopes alive and was willing to take the scrapes she gave him.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2009

    Did not enjoy..

    Slow, characters were a bore, and the babbling on about nothings really was quite irritating. I thought it would get better, but never did. Dissapointing!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

    You should read this Only is you like a good writing style

    Unlikeable and unsympathetic characters. Good portrayal of society at time of story, but story itself is rather boring. The author does have a lovely lyrical way of writing, with good descriptive phrases and lack of hackneyed word and expressions.

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  • Posted June 6, 2013

    I am listening to this book on tape and am completely emeshed in

    I am listening to this book on tape and am completely emeshed in the story of Nicholas and Etna; I love the period piece portrayal. What a sad, sad story of "settling" for what one apparently cannot have. Nicholas and Etna, a doomed "love" that has no match! Cannot stop listening and waiting for the resolution of this marriage....

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  • Posted May 30, 2010

    This book was okay-

    I thought this book was so so. I thought this book was slow to start and I kept waiting for something to happen. This is the story about Etna, she ends up being in a hotel fire. Her future husband falls in love with her the minute he sees her. She has a past that is a mystery and she doesn't love this man. It was a slow starting book that was hard to get into. Unbelievable things happened and it left a lot of unanswered questions. I didn't like being left hanging.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2009

    This book drew me in as I continued reading.

    It was a little hard to get into right away but once I did, I couldn't put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    I hated every second of this book.

    Let me preface this by saying I AM a fan of Anita Shreve. Her book "Sea Glass" is one of my favorite reads. Because of her previous books, I was very excited to pick up "All He Ever Wanted". I hated every second of it.

    At first I was confused by the style; I did not know it was a "period piece". Although consistent in her writing for the era, the book was boring and found the characters were shallow, selfish, and miserable. There was not one character in the book that had any endearing or redeeming qualities. I never do this but I stopped at the last chapter, didn't even finish it and literally threw it away.

    With all that said, I am still a fan of Anita Shreve and will read her in the future but with so many books to read I would suggest not wasting precious reading time on this dud.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2008

    I kept waiting for it to get better

    I kept reading the book, hoping it would become more interesting, more insightful, and more entertaining, but it never did. The story's characters are not likable, nor do you ever really get any insight into how they came to be the people they are. What you get is speculation from the narrator's perspective, which doesn't lend anything to the story, other than reinforce the notion of his obsession with his wife. After reading this book, I am abandoning reading some of these so-called period pieces of fiction and am going to read some of the classics that I never got around to reading, such as Jane Austen's lesser known works. I know that I won't feel as though my time could have been spent after I am finished reading Austen's books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2008

    A reviewer

    I was very disappointed in this book. People who enjoy this book must just love the era of the setting. (early 1900's)The story in a nut shell is : Obsessive man convinces uninterested woman to marry him. She is miserable and tries to occupy herself otherwise. They have 2 children. She never loves the husband and eventually leaves. Husband manipulates the child to lie in order to bring mom back. Mom leaves forever. Family is torn apart. No interesting details. No likability of characters. Dry, dry, dry. The only book of Shreve's I liked was the 'Pilots Wife'. Maybe because it was more contemporary. All her books that I have read deal w/ adultery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2008

    Very much worth reading

    I read this book, cover to cover, on an international flight. It's my first Anita Shreve, and I loved it. I'll admit that it's a bit slow, particularly in the beginning, but you need to give it a chance. I was addicted by the halfway point - the Victorian setting and characters are believable and the final few chapters are chilling. I particularly loved that it was written in the first person.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2007

    Diappointing

    It just did not capture my immagination. I have read other books by her and this one was tedious and boring. I stopped reading half way through.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2007

    boring

    I couldn't get into the book. It seemed very tedious in the beginning and I couldn't even make myself get through the first 1/4 of the book. The story didn't seem to go anywhere fast.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2006

    The cure for insomnia has been found!

    I thought the book was dry and lacked excitement to keep the reader interested. Compared to her other books, this one was a huge disappointment. The reader just waits for something to happen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2006

    I loved it!

    This is my second book that I've read by Anita Shreve. I did like this one a lot. The beginning was a little slow which is common in her writing but then the story just takes off and you get all wrapped up in the story and the characters. Although you will need a dictionary to decifer some of the words she uses for the main character. The story itself is very interesting and addictive to read. I really wished she went into Etna's character a bit more so that we could understand her better. Most of her descriptions were written in 'speculation.' Highly recommend. I couldn't put the book down once I started.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2006

    Like watching grass grow...

    This was my first read by this author...and probably my last. This was one of the most boring novels I have ever read...it was like being slowly tortured. I hoped against hope for the main character to grow a spine. This was just a dissapointing plot. I wish I could have my money back for this one. I usually give away books to other friends who enjoy reading however, I think I will just donate this one to the library. Beware!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2005

    The Book went downhill

    I have read four other novels by Anita Shreve, and for the first half of this novel, I considered it to be by far her best work. I found the story fascinating and enjoyed the style of the work--very different than her other works. However, about half way through the novel, the plot became somewhat contrived. I considered the conclusion of the novel to be very weakand question both Clara's feelings and the final episodes of Edna's life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2005

    Fascinating and chilling

    I have read five of Ms. Shreve's books and had a very difficult time putting down any of them including 'All He Ever Wanted.' It was both fascinating and chilling to read a story from the perspective of the obsessed male protagonist. In this story we see how damaging is obsessive 'love.' Etna's husband does not really view his wife as another human being but as an object of desire to own. The chilling part is the fact that he, of course, does not see this about himself and feels his actions are justified no matter how cruel or terrible. I did not find the 19th century language difficult to understand and felt it helped convey the morals and thinking of the times. As usual, Ms. Shreve's characters are fully formed and we get the surprise twists and turns that she is so good at creating. You will think about this story long after you are finished reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2005

    I don't Get it

    I found it hard to want to keep reading this book. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen but it never did. Maybe my expectations were too high. This is my first for this author. I thought this book waited way to long to get to the point then I was like...all this for what?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2005

    I was hooked!

    I also listened to this on tape--it might make a difference from having to read the victorian language vs having it read to me. I was captivated by the story. I would love to have this story told from Etna's perspective. I wish this writer would write it-- she could call it All SHE ever wanted! Both Nicolas and Etna were such tragic figures. Gave me much to think about!

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 86 Customer Reviews
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