Customer Reviews for

The Bright Forever

Average Rating 3.5
( 42 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(0)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

ILLUMINATING!

Martin's THE BRIGHT FOREVER was an illuminating find. The author certainly has a gift for storytelling and knows how to keep a reader going and going. He provides the reader with small clues which always left me wanting more. It was definitely one of my fastest reads be...
Martin's THE BRIGHT FOREVER was an illuminating find. The author certainly has a gift for storytelling and knows how to keep a reader going and going. He provides the reader with small clues which always left me wanting more. It was definitely one of my fastest reads because I couldn't put it down!

The story itself is a sad one: a little girl full of life and innocence turns up missing in a small, sleepy town where the biggest news the town newspaper might ever report is the results of the church bake sale. I liken the story to Alice Sebold's THE LOVELY BONES and Kate Atkinson's CASE HISTORIES; however, it was a much richer story than either of those two novels (and I don't recommend the latter at all!).

Having just read (and not enjoying) CASE HISTORIES, I was a bit put off at first by THE BRIGHT FOREVER when I started reading and discovered that it was similar in structure and told from many points of view. It's not a structure I'm particularly fond of, as it can be somewhat confusing and overwhelming. Thankfully, author Lee Martin pulls it off beautifully. He offers one story with several interwoven viewpoints and truths, and that keeps the reader guessing.

Each chapter is named after a character or a specific date, which tells you whose point of view you'll be reading next. It was confusing at first, but once you get used to switching viewpoints and putting yourself in that character's shoes, you begin to appreciate the novel's style and ease into the story much more easily.

I don't want to give away any plot details; I'll let you discover those for yourself. However, think of this quote from the novel:

"The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out."

That's the heart of the story. Martin gives us a captivating -- yet heavy-hearted-- tale that examines real human nature and behavior.

posted by eak321 on April 14, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Slow read

Even though this book is a short 226 pages, it was slow going. I honesy didn't get into it until page 96. Even then, it wasn't a book I couldn't put down. It wasn't a terrible book, but it wasn't a great one either.

posted by penslnamia on June 5, 2013

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  • Posted April 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    ILLUMINATING!

    Martin's THE BRIGHT FOREVER was an illuminating find. The author certainly has a gift for storytelling and knows how to keep a reader going and going. He provides the reader with small clues which always left me wanting more. It was definitely one of my fastest reads because I couldn't put it down!

    The story itself is a sad one: a little girl full of life and innocence turns up missing in a small, sleepy town where the biggest news the town newspaper might ever report is the results of the church bake sale. I liken the story to Alice Sebold's THE LOVELY BONES and Kate Atkinson's CASE HISTORIES; however, it was a much richer story than either of those two novels (and I don't recommend the latter at all!).

    Having just read (and not enjoying) CASE HISTORIES, I was a bit put off at first by THE BRIGHT FOREVER when I started reading and discovered that it was similar in structure and told from many points of view. It's not a structure I'm particularly fond of, as it can be somewhat confusing and overwhelming. Thankfully, author Lee Martin pulls it off beautifully. He offers one story with several interwoven viewpoints and truths, and that keeps the reader guessing.

    Each chapter is named after a character or a specific date, which tells you whose point of view you'll be reading next. It was confusing at first, but once you get used to switching viewpoints and putting yourself in that character's shoes, you begin to appreciate the novel's style and ease into the story much more easily.

    I don't want to give away any plot details; I'll let you discover those for yourself. However, think of this quote from the novel:

    "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out."

    That's the heart of the story. Martin gives us a captivating -- yet heavy-hearted-- tale that examines real human nature and behavior.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2013

    well written

    heartbreaking.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 14, 2011

    loved it!

    i couldnt put it down. great writing, kept me on the edge of my seat. well worth the $10 i paid!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome but Terribly Sad

    Oh my, it was a great read but hard to make it through the book with what the content was. I love the way the author gets inside the characters heads as they tell their stories and you can really imagine what that summer must have been like as if you were a part of it! It is a great book to read but very sad. The author does an awesome job developing and visualizing the characters and you really can picture little Katie and how adorable and lovable she was! I was definitely recommend this book, I flew through it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Really intriguing and leaves you at the end of your seat!

    I really enjoyed this book. At first i thought it was going to be boring and take me awhile to read, but then towards the middle it became very interesting. It's suspenseful and kept me wanting to read more until i was done. I dont read a lot of books or find too many that i really like and this one is by far one of my favorites.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2008

    Absolutely incredible! Could NOT put it down

    In the beginning it can be kind of confusing what with the different narrators- but before you even realize it, you're addicted. You have to keep reading until you just fall asleep with the book over your face. Great details and plot- this is truly one of a kind and I recommend it to anyone who enjoyed 'The Lovely Bones,' by Alice Sebold.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2008

    ILLUMINATING!

    Martin's THE BRIGHT FOREVER was an illuminating find. The author certainly has a gift for storytelling and knows how to keep a reader going and going. He provides the reader with small clues which always left me wanting more. It was definitely one of my fastest reads because I couldn't put it down! The story itself is a sad one: a little girl full of life and innocence turns up missing in a small, sleepy town where the biggest news the town newspaper might ever report is the results of the church bake sale. I liken the story to Alice Sebold's THE LOVELY BONES and Kate Atkinson's CAST HISTORIES, however, it was a much richer story than either of those two novels (and I don't recommend the latter at all!). Having just read (and not enjoying) CASE HISTORIES, I was a bit put off at first by THE BRIGHT FOREVER when I started reading and discovered that it was similar in structure and told from many points of view. It's not a structure I'm particularly fond of, as it can be somewhat confusing and overwhelming. Thankfully, author Lee Martin pulls it off beautifully. He offers one story with several interwoven viewpoints and truths, and that keeps the reader guessing. Each chapter is named after a character or a specific date, which tells you whose point of view you'll be reading next. It was confusing at first, but once you get used to switching viewpoints and putting yourself in that character's shoes, you begin to appreciate the novel's style and ease into the story much more easily. I don't want to give away any plot details I'll let you discover those for yourself. However, think of this quote from the novel: 'The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.' That's the heart of the story. Martin gives us a captivating -- yet heavy-hearted-- tale that examines real human nature and behavior.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2008

    A reviewer

    I read the flap inside this book, I was hooked, I wanted to actually find out what happens, what lead up to her disaperence. I read this book in 4 days. I have never read a book in that short of time span! I was excited and amazed by how intrseting it was and how attached to the words flying off the pages and into my mind. I loved this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2006

    Captivating Read

    I really enjoyed this book. The pages flew by and I was hooked wondering what really happened until the last few pages. As for the previous reviewer who felt this book displayed poor values...this is a work of fiction. I think trying to tie a moral bow around the story would have taken away from the realism of the characters and turned the story into a preachy parable. Not everything in life is palatable. A lot of the thoughts and actions of the characters were disturbing, but I found myself intrigued. The author did a very good job delving into the unique mindset of each character.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2006

    Beautiful depiction of all the characters

    This book was a great read. Although the story can be quite disturbing at times it is very well written. I loved the fact that each character got to tell from their point of view. I would recommend this to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2006

    Fast and captivating read

    One of my favorite books.. easy read.. the pages just flew by.. lee martin captivates the reader! its definitely a must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2005

    Great read!!

    I thought this was an excellent read...never have I read a book of more than 250 pages in one sitting!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    tense thriller

    In a summer night in 1972 Tower Hill, Indiana, nine-year-old Katie bikes to the library but fails to return home. Her family owns the ¿itty-bitty¿ town's biggest business a glassworks firm and is considered Tower Hill¿s First Family so when something happens, townsfolk react. --- Katie¿s parents and her teenage older brother seem to love Katie, who always appeared contented. Her summer math tutor reticent lonely Henry kissed the preadolescent on the day she vanished and has stolen hair from her bedroom; he feels guilty for his pedophilic desires but his student respected him something he has never known especially during his abusive childhood. Remarried widow Clare knows her charming abusive spouse Raymond has drug induced blackouts and wonders could he have killed the girl. Raymond knows that pathetic Henry has a crush on the little girl and uses it. --- Though hope remains at first, as days pass, a stunned town believes the First Daughter is dead. The searchers become angry while pondering their own transgressions; increasingly the conversation turns towards avenging vigilante righteousness. --- Readers will appreciate this tense thriller that brings the underlying tension of the Ox-Bow Incident to the 1970s. The seemingly simple act of riding a bike turns ugly forcing everyone to introspect on their own sins as the changing perspectives enable the audience to understand the actions and reactions over a few days to the missing child; especially intriguing is Katie¿s parents wondering if they are being ¿punished¿. The collective guilt (though overdone) insures that THE BRIGHT FOREVER turns eternally dark for the townsfolk as the loss of innocence means no counterbalance to the eternal gloom of adulthood¿s reality shattering youthful dreams.--- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2005

    Haunting, Heartbreaking . . .

    Martin is a literary genius. His writing leaves you spellbound and breathless. The Bright Forever will stay in your mind . . . forever. It's truly a tragic, horrifying story and, at times, almost unbearable to read. But the reality and truth that this book exposes, causes the reader to look inward and outward at the world, and themselves, a little differently, once they are finished. It's nothing like The Lovely Bones. No comparison. There was absolutely nothing happy or 'bright' about this book, but nonetheless, a book everyone must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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