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Customer Reviews for

Disobedience

Average Rating 3
( 15 )
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5 Star

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2 Star

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 18 of 17 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2003

    Passionate and Insightful

    This novel introduces so many real emotions that often go unacknowledged....the book takes the reader through such awesome insight dealing with love, insecurity, betrayl, and most importantly, understaning. I was sad to end the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2001

    Insightful

    I must admit that I am an avid fan of Jane Hamilton, and I found this novel comparable to her others through its profound simplicity in dealing with life crises. A remark made to Henry by his father, Kevin, about the intricacies of the marriage relationship illustrates my point. 'It's best if both parties understand at the start that you're going to be two flawed people stumbling along through the years, making it up as you go,' he tells his son. Hamilton has a way of making us see our fallibilities while, at the same time, maintaining our dignity. The experiences of this seemingly 'dysfunctional' family are not so different from those that many of us have faced. I would highly recommend the book, both for its insight and entertainment value.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    Wake me up when it's over

    I gave up on this book about a third of the way in. I just could not get into it, and I NEVER give up on books. It was still giving background information, and I found it rather boring.

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  • Posted July 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Disobedience does not live up to its title or opening sentence.

    Pick a loaded word like "disobedience" for your title and write "Reading somone else's e-mail is a quiet, clean enterprise," and you have something to write about. Jane Hamilton, however, has brought me to disobey to original call to read this book by page 51. There is no focus. No theme that starts to warm the pages. No tension in the boy's mind who has invaded his mother's e-mail and imagines her to be having an affair. No reason to have the history teacher father and the on-beyond-tomboy daughter because they exist outside the boy, the mother, and the e-mail, without being woven together. Hamilton's main character might be original, but he is smothered by his imaginings of his mother. Best to go back to the classics before writing a classic theme into modern technology. Or, if what you're after is a young protagonist who is supposedly not contributing to the events at hand, try Lovely Bones.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2004

    No Thank You!!!

    I thought that this book was completely dragged on. Throughout the whole book she keeps the reader waiting for the family to find out about Beth Shaw's affair. I thought that end was disappointing. It was so cheesy. Boo to this book!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2004

    Read this a year ago and LOVED it

    First, I want to say that I hardly ever remember the titles of books I have read, unless they are part of an author's series and appear at the front of subsequent books. That said, I saw this title in the bargain list and it sparked my memory. Maybe this will not appeal to those who relate more to the parents' age range in the novel, but for those of us nearer to the 17-year-old end of the spectrum, it is a suspenseful and refreshing read with plenty of real-life family quirks - everyone gets dragged to a Civil War reenactment, for instance. And this is an audio version read by the hottie from 'Much Ado About Nothing' - how can you go wrong? Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2003

    Didn't even finish it

    I couldn't even finish it! I read 'Book of Ruth' by this author and LOVED it, and also read 'Map of the World' which was just 'ok' so I thought I'd give this one a try. UGH! It was a struggle to just read half of it and finally I just gave up, and it's the first book I couldn't finish. Enough with the sister and her civil war obsession. Yawn Yawn Yawn!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2001

    boring!

    the subject i thought would be very interesting -- how a boy and family deal with a mother's betrayal. however, i could not even get half way through the book...i felt as if i was reading the same chapter over and over. the way the plot was written made it cheesy to me (the whole cyber-love thing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2001

    HAMILTON DOES IT AGAIN

    If you are looking for a plot-driven yarn, this is not the book for you. But Hamilton has, in her extraordinarily insightful way, created a family and a situation that allow for some wonderful explorations of love, marriage, parenting, childhood, family expectations, sexuality, loyalty and commitment -- to name just a few things that every family and every person in a family experience in one way or another. Hamilton has never created a character that doesn't ring true. She manages to pull us inside her stories because though we may not like what is happening, we know the reality of it exists. In each one of her books, the reader is left with a heart full of compassion, which is a whole lot better than ending up with a nice, tidy, happily-ever-after ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2001

    Disappointing

    I agree with the previous reviewers- I have really enjoyed her other books, but was unimpressed with this one. Some interesting characters, but overall, slow, not terribly engaging, and kind of pretentious.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2001

    Would not purchase...

    Half way through the book and it's still about a young man and his civil war obsessed little sister and not the discovery of his mothers e-mail account of her involvement with a fellow musician. I know more about civil war uniforms than anything else. First read of this author--absolutely not impressed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2000

    Not As Good As I Had Hoped

    Jane Hamilton is my favorite author so I guess I was expecting a bit too much of this novel. When I read her books I am always envious of her talent for accurately potraying the way people really think. Well, I would say that this is the main problem with Disobedience: it had too much of Henry's thoughts (and he's not that interesting) and not enough plot. A lot of facts are repeated in his narrative without much change, he seems obsessed with his mother's life but not in an engaging way. The talent was very obviously there in Jane Hamilton's writing but that wasn't enough to make this as great as Ruth, Map, and Prince.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2000

    I was disappointed

    I heard such great things about this book before it came out and I was eger to read it. I had to force myself to read it in hopes that it would pick up. It was an ok book...it wasn't one of those books that you can't put down. I had no problem putting it down. Finally I finished it...I liked the message and there were parts I really liked. I liked the idea but with Henry being the narriator it was just boring. I think I might of liked it better if Beth was the narrator. Over all not one of the best books I have ever read....Sorry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2000

    Suggested Reading

    I work at a bookstore, and as an employee, I am always looking for books to suggest. This is definetly going to be one of them. The story seems typical, (wife has affair, unhappy marriage, unappreciatve kids), but the author takes a different avenue, and brings in a new storyline that I had not expected to find.. Definetly worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2000

    ANOTHER MOVING STORY BY JANE HAMILTON

    Family dynamics and teenage angst hold sway in Disobedience, a stunning fourth novel from the gifted Jane Hamilton. With empathy and affection she enters her characters' lives to skillfully explore the ever changing landscape of human mind and heart. Disobedience assumes varying forms and guises in this chronicle of one year in the life of the Shaw family, beginning with 17-year-old Henry who inadvertently opens his mother's email to discover that she is having an impassioned affair with Richard Polloco, a Ukrainian violin maker. With his painful past of family terror during the Bolshevik Revolution, Polloco becomes to Beth Shaw '...a person with something real that had happened to him, that had wounded him. He was a person she might be able to comfort, a man she could lead out of the dark past, going from light to light to light.' Online in her loving notes to Polloco, pianist and solid mother Beth has become Liza38, an i.d. bestowed upon her by Henry when he introduced her to the mysteries of computer operation. He wanted her to have a name with some gusto and this 'sounded like the code name of a blond spy with a sizable bust' rather than a 'flat, no crackle name, Beth.' The family is rounded out by father, Kevin, and thirteen-tear-old Elvira, a devoted, sometimes obsessive Civil War re-enactor who disguises herself as drummer boy Elviron to participate. She persists in always dressing in handmade Union uniforms, even to adding a clanking sword as she attends a family wedding. Elvira is encouraged in this pursuit by Kevin and worried over by Beth. When Kevin, a liberal leaning high school history teacher, is ousted from his job in Vermont, a place Henry views as his 'deepest sense of home,' the Shaws move to an upscale suburb in Chicago. Self described as 'the heavyweight champion of depressed teenagehood,' Henry wears long hair and wire rimmed specs. He is somewhat of a loner at his exclusive new school, and further alienated by the knowledge of Beth's unfaithfulness. Alternately fascinated and repelled, he knows he should not continue his 'electronic eavesdropping,' but he does. To him, her defection marks a loss of the childhood security that he once felt within his family circle. His response is further complicated by the fact that he has just experienced his first sexual encounter. Beth's confessions of guilt to an online friend do little to win Henry's understanding or forgiveness. There are times when he is nominally courteous to her at best, entering into dinner table conversations only to taunt or disparage Elvira. Some solace is found for Henry in his friendship with Karen, a schoolmate, who with her dyed black hair and bizarre clothing 'looked as if she were a fifty-year-old masquerading as a teenager.' Were he to confide his mother's infidelity to Karen, he imagines she might attribute it to a menopausal thing, saying, 'Think of the last egg hobbling down the fallopian tube, shrieking for one last sperm.' Ms. Hamilton has created an endearing figure in Henry, one who narrates his story with the insightfulness and bravado of an intelligent teenager. He is an embodiment of the difficulties encountered in growing up. Reluctantly he accompanies Kevin, Beth and Elvira to a reenactment of the Battle of Shiloh. It is here that unforeseen events alter the family's course forever. Deftly assured and almost preternaturally attuned to the feelings of a 17-year-old boy, Ms. Hamilton has again penned a story laced with humor, deep rooted love, and compassion. One could not find an abler guide to chart safe passage through the shoals of family life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 18 of 17 Customer Reviews
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