Customer Reviews for

All He Ever Wanted: A Novel

Average Rating 3
( 87 )
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5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(24)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(21)

1 Star

(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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  • 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!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2004

    Not great

    Somehow, I forced myself to finish this book. Aside from needing a dictionary to define most of Nicholas' much too big words, (I have a degree in Enlish Literature!) I kept waiting for Etna to turn around a little bit. And to abandon her children!! That was not expected. Suicide, maybe, but to move to London and never see them again? Very disappointing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2004

    A Disappointing Experience

    This was my first experience reading a novel by Anita Shreve. I must say I did not like this novel at all. I found it hard to like this novel simply because I didn't like the characters. I found neither of the main characters to have any redeeming qualities. Etna was cold and distant; Nicholas was obsessive, dishonest, and a bully. That being said there were plenty of things that happened in the novel to keep me turning the pages. I hoped with each page to be drawn to the characters, but it just didn't happen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2003

    Can't Like the Book If You Can't Like the Narrator

    I've read all of Shreve and looked forward to her newest for summer reading. The book is as slow and predictable as its narrator. I just wanted to shake the main character by the shoulders and help her escape from the pages with me. Shreve's feminist themes are out of synch with the setting and overshadow the credibility of the characters. I forced myself to finish. Shreve's best was Resistance. She's getting formulaic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2003

    Disappointed Shreve Fan

    I absolutely love Anita Shreve but was disappointed with this book. I couldn't get into the narrarator's stuffy, pendantic story telling. It just goes to show you how dull one-sided relationship are. Not sure who to feel worse for, Nicholas or Etna.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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