Customer Reviews for

Doors Open

Average Rating 3
( 15 )
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5 Star

(1)

4 Star

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3 Star

(8)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 18 of 15 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    So unworthy of Ian Rankin!

    This is a lazy, superficial treatment of a plot that actually has potential.
    Had Rankin applied himself to this book with the skill he has previously demonstrated in his other works, we would now have, potentially, the beginning of another intriguing series that could become as engaging as Rebus was. Instead, Rankin writes in a style completely below his norm, skims over character development, slides over plot details and shamefully leaves the door open (forgive the pun!) for a possible sequel... Needless to say, while I own every book Ian Rankin has written, I will also personally make a point not to buy such sequel, if and when it is released. Ian, if you are listening to your readers, why not start again? Rewrite the book at the skill level we have all become accustomed to and call it "Doors Open - for The Second Time".

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Bring back Rebus

    Somewhat formulaic like The Simple Plan, this book seems to be striving towards a movie like The Treasure of the Sierra Madre where greed and stupidity ruin a "perfect" crime. Not his best his work, but Rankin usually sets the bar very high

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2010

    Doors Open by Ian Rankin

    As a big fan of his Rebus books, I was majorly disappointed... in fact, I was bored and didn't finish. The writing, while not poor, was decidely unclever...almost as if he was explaining something to a third grader. The style, plot, writing are all so different from his Rebus novels, I'm almost tempted to think he didn't write this book at all.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Paint By Numbers

    With all of the excellent art heist novels out there, Ian Rankin's Doors Open looks like a paint by numbers operation. It just simply does not have any depth or sophistication to make it stand out from any other novel. This is pretty disappointing to someone like me who followed Rankin's Rebus novels, having read all of them. I suggest he work harder the next time, or retire if he hasn't any way to top Rebus.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 17, 2013

    This is a story of a heist and the heroes are the guys who plan

    This is a story of a heist and the heroes are the guys who plan the heist.  It starts off with medium tension and then Rankin raises the stakes with every chapter with twists and turns that heightens the tension to a superb climax at the end.  he characters are deeply cast and engagingly developed such that you end up liking a couple of them and rooting for them.  The tension of the situations are heightened with exquisite details of the characters' actions and expression, even at a micro level.  The scenes are great drama. The city and its locations are also laid out for with the same exquisite and loving detail.

    He uses 7 POVs in total - 6 of them the POVs (points of view) of 6 of the gang members involved in the heist, and the last one, that of the policeman who is chasing them.  One wonders whether all of the POVs - particularly the peripheral characters' ones - are necessary.  At a few points there are POV wobbles - hopping from one head to the next - in the same para or section. These are only a few minor distractions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Doors Open is an Ian Rankin novel, but not a Rebus novel. This m

    Doors Open is an Ian Rankin novel, but not a Rebus novel. This means the setting is familiar for Rankin – the gray stone and grayer skies of Edinburgh, angst about the city’s class divisions and redevelopment, Scottish angst about the English and tourists (much the same thing here) – but without that gloomy DI mourning the loss of most everything while hoisting endless pints.

    The setup: a bored millionaire, a covetous banker and an art professor walk into a bar (no, it’s not the start of a joke) and plan to steal their favorite paintings from the National Gallery’s storage dungeon in the suburbs. As the plan grows, it attracts a local mafia kingpin, a most unreliable student artist and his Lady Macbeth-like girlfriend, various police detectives and an enormous Danish Hell’s Angel called Hate. Moral boundaries are crossed, trusts are betrayed, and bad things happen to bad people and good alike.

    The main characters are all clearly drawn, individual personalities who are easy to visualize and cast in your mental movie. The dialog is crisp and fits the mouths out of which it comes. (Fear not the Scottishness; the dialog includes enough “wee” and “nae” and “aye” to remind you you’re north of Hadrian’s Wall, but doesn’t spin out into Taggart (or even Monarch of the Glen) territory.) Locations tend to be pencil sketches rather than oils, enough of an outline to give you the gist of things but not enough to establish much atmosphere. Because Edinburgh crime is a milieu Rankin has spent his life exploring, his command of the hard men and the feuding cops is sure and steady.

    That’s the good. The demerits are more diffuse and take on the aspects of an aftertaste. The book starts out as a caper story – think of a severely downsized Edinburgher Ocean’s Eleven – and creeps slowly into something darker. The two moods don’t necessarily mesh well. That this trio of upstanding citizens actually goes through with a heist of this sort – no matter the amount of justification Rankin lays out – is a stretch you simply have to swallow hard and accept. The plot probably would’ve worked better had Rankin’s hard men been the authors and finishers of the scheme, leaving him to spend more time on the organized-crime angle that actually is a prime driver behind real-world art theft. (As it is, our acquisitive millionaire is just too close to Thomas Crown for readers to not notice the family resemblance.) Unlike what I remember of the Rebus books I read some time ago, Edinburgh is less a physical presence than a series of place names. Finally, there’s a throwaway not-quite-romance between the millionaire and a pretty auctioneer that seems to exist mostly to justify the rich man’s choice of stolen paintings, and ends on a where-did-that-come-from note.

    I understand there’s a made-for-TV movie version of Doors Open, which is entirely expected, since in many ways it has the texture of its own novelization. It reminds me more of a toned-down Guy Ritchie film than an Ian Rankin novel. It’s not bad, and it’s certainly a fast read. It’s just not especially evocative or memorable. Doors Open is one of those books that allow you to pass that coast-to-coast flight enjoyably, yet you don’t feel too bad if you forget it on the plane.

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    Posted April 27, 2011

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