Customer Reviews for

All He Ever Wanted: A Novel

Average Rating 3
( 87 )
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(15)

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(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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.

posted by 17540766 on August 23, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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 hi...
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.

posted by Sunshine86 on September 30, 2009

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2005

    Brilliant books

    I listened to this book on tape quite a few months ago, but I was totally enthralled with it. The story was so fascinating and sad all at the same time. Shreve has a storytelling gift and this one is no exception. Don't miss it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2005

    What a disappointment!

    Anita Shreve is one of my favorite authors. I have most of her books, and with the exception of All He Ever Wanted, the books are fantastic. This book was a real letdown. The plot is slow and fails to catch the reader, the main character is boring and one-dimensional, and the book is so unlike Shreves' other work, it's hard to believe she wrote it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2005

    That was not a male perspective

    I don't know about anyone else who read it, but I thought that she did a terrible job of the male perspective. A man does not really know all of the different clothing and colors that a woman wears. Honestly, men are not as complex as she made him out to be, no matter what century he was from. I could have dismissed this mistake if it wasn't for the fact that the plot was extremely boring and uneventful in a good majority of the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2005

    Not up to par.

    I love other books I have read by this author. I was disappointed with this one. I found the main charachter to be very dull and borish. I felt that I was plodding along with the read as the main character trudged through his life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2005

    disappointing

    I have read almost all of Anita Shreve's books and I have loved them. This one was a huge disappointment. I found it depressing, not a page turner like her others. I wouldn't recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2005

    Captivating

    This is the first novel by Shreve that I have read. It has been a page turner for me. I am captivated by Nicholas' point of view and his telling of the story. I have not finished the book yet, but I look forward to the ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2005

    compelling

    Anita Shreve never fails to impress. Her character development is superb and her writing style is appealing. I confess that I didnt 'read' the book in paper form but instead I listened to it on CD. I loved the way her heroine adapted to her difficult life. It was fascinating to see how her husband's selfish love forced her to retreat into her own secret world. I highly recommend this novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2005

    All He Ever Wanted

    All He Ever Wanted is an interesting book. I found it to be intense, but somewhat dragging at times. It shows the passion and fire of love from the male character. The female character, however, shows us that we cannot sacrifice our feelings in life and to go for what we want.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2004

    semi-worthy

    If you can get past all the old fashion wording, and realize that obsession is a reality, go for it. The first time I started this book, I stopped. Then bored one night, I picked it up, and could not stop till it was over. Its sad, yet entertaining, and thought provoking, isn't it too true that one in a relationship, usually loves more than the other?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2004

    awful

    This book was very boring. I couldn't read past the third chapter it was so bad. I didn't like the snooty, new england perspective.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2004

    Fantastically written

    Oh my goodness! I have been listening to the book on CD as I drive to and from work and am absolutely in awe of Shreve's writing. I have been late to work twice because I can't pull myself out of the car! I'm hooked on every word, every event, every rung on the plot's ladder! This is well written Shreve! I didn't care for The Pilot's Wife as much, but this takes the cake. Where can I find more?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2004

    Difficult but still fascinated me

    I didn't think the book was all that bad. It kept me engaged, I wanted to read it and finish it so that I could find out what happened. Etna's husband steeps pretty low to get what he wants and, ultimately, ends up paying for his dirty deeds. I actually felt sorry for him, knowing that he loved his wife so very much and she could have cared less about him. This was definitely about unrequited love and desire, topics that are not always a thrill to read about it. But this book was written in first person so it makes it easier to see into the mind of the husband who so longs for his wife to show him any type of affection. The thing I found difficult was to get over the fact that the language the characters use is a more dignified, 19th century English, which is hard to read, much less having to think about how a person would say each word.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2004

    So Boring

    Don't waste your time on this book, it was the most boring, pointless book I have ever read. I was so disappointed after reading The Last Time They Met, which I loved! As much as Anita Shrieve tried to create a thrilling storyline, there was no storyline at all! Don't waste your time!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2004

    tough read

    I have read all of Shreves books. This is out of sync with all the rest. Tough beginning and hard to follow the storyline.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2004

    Still reading it..and well still have to re-read parts due to the 'New England' lanuage context

    Boring with some slight intrest in the secret life of Etna. No Erotic details whatsoever not even a good paragraph of 'sensual desires'; just described the sexual context as 'deflowering Etna' and I am serious. Comeon this is my first Shreve read and not planning on reading another title from the author! Maybe, I should have known it was boring since it is on 'opera's book club' list!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2004

    Boring!

    I have read all of Anita Shreve books so I thought this would be great like all the others. I am disappointed I actually paid for this book. I am glad to see it wasnt only me who could not get into this book, I actually never finished it, I felt there are too many other great books out there I want to read so why waste my time and patience to get through this one! Snore!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2004

    definitly not her best

    I have read all of Anita Shreve's books and looked forward to reading this one. I enjoyed it the least. I agree that the language is interesting, but it didn't save the book for me. I don't want to give it away, but the conclusion left me depressed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2004

    Deinitely a cure to insomia

    A critic wrote 'unputdownable.' Well, I found myself being forced to finish and entirely drained afterwards. I was sorely disppointed that I was falling asleep and re-reading paragraphs to refocus my attention.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2004

    My least favorite so far.

    I adore Anita Shreve and look forward to the release of each book with eager anticipation, but I have to say that this one left me disappointed. She does a great job of character development, and I have to admit that although I didn't care for the characters in this novel, I still had that feeling like they were real and this horribly boring story was actually going on somewhere. So that in Shreve's favor.

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