Customer Reviews for

The Double Bind

Average Rating 3.5
( 411 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(143)

4 Star

(118)

3 Star

(73)

2 Star

(47)

1 Star

(30)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Stunner

This book provided great entertainment with a twist in the plot that made me want to re-read it after I had finished. Great entertainment! Reminded me of some of the old Hitchcock movies that had dramatic twists and turns. Highly readable, highly recommend it!

posted by gr8bookworm on March 13, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Surprise Ending Was No Surprise

I could not wait until I was done reading this book, because I really did not enjoy it at all. I have read waaaay too many Jodie Picoult books (no more) to ever be surprised by the standard surprise ending again. The Gatsby story threw me for awhile, but the periodic i...
I could not wait until I was done reading this book, because I really did not enjoy it at all. I have read waaaay too many Jodie Picoult books (no more) to ever be surprised by the standard surprise ending again. The Gatsby story threw me for awhile, but the periodic interjection of notes from the state mental hospital made the ending a dead giveaway...the meticulous avoidance of the patient's gender made the patient's identity completely obvious.

I also felt the ending was a disappointment...we heard all of the details of the incident (too many, if you ask me) via the attacker's apology letter, which was much too contrived to be believable...the sole purpose seemed to be to explain the attack to the reader. Then more doctor's notes, followed by nothing. The characters were missing the depth to really make me care.

posted by iowagirlLB on January 2, 2009

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  • Posted January 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Surprise Ending Was No Surprise

    I could not wait until I was done reading this book, because I really did not enjoy it at all. I have read waaaay too many Jodie Picoult books (no more) to ever be surprised by the standard surprise ending again. The Gatsby story threw me for awhile, but the periodic interjection of notes from the state mental hospital made the ending a dead giveaway...the meticulous avoidance of the patient's gender made the patient's identity completely obvious.<BR/><BR/>I also felt the ending was a disappointment...we heard all of the details of the incident (too many, if you ask me) via the attacker's apology letter, which was much too contrived to be believable...the sole purpose seemed to be to explain the attack to the reader. Then more doctor's notes, followed by nothing. The characters were missing the depth to really make me care.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Hard to put down.

    Takes a real look at PTSD occurring outside of a war zone. A real look at how trauma can affect all people.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2010

    Stunner

    This book provided great entertainment with a twist in the plot that
    made me want to re-read it after I had finished. Great entertainment!
    Reminded me of some of the old Hitchcock movies that had dramatic twists and turns. Highly readable, highly recommend it!

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Set Up!

    As I was reading this book I thought I had it all figured out and was prematurely disappointed in the predictability of the plot. There seemed to be too many unlikely coincidences and an obvious set up. Well I fell for the set up but not the one I was dreading. The last chapter was the twist I had hoped for! Now I have to start it over to go through the story with my new perspective. I definitely recommend this book to others.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2008

    Delusional

    While reading this novel, I started to feel delusional myself - thinking I was supposed to enjoy reading a great book, but in reality, I suffered for hours upon hours reading a terrible book. And with a bit of glee, I was at the final chapter - hopeful the worst was over. Ironically, the ending was the worst part.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    The Double Bind

    This book is about a women named Laurel, who at the beggining of the book was brutally attacked by some men, while she was out on a routine bike ride. After this attack, she wanted noting to do with Biking, so she started swimming. She got heavily involved with a program called BEDS, this program helps the homeless find homes. Through this program, she meets Bobbie Crocker. When he dies, he leaves a box of photos, and Laurel sorts through them and tries to find the meaning of each of them. through this, she becomes so consumed by them, and it starts to lead to some problems.
    i really liked this book, because everyone has problems that they face in their lives. this book has twists and turns, and there is a whacky ending. but in the end i reccomend this book, it will make you want to keep reading.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    My thoughts and views on The Double Bind

    If you are like me, then you were probably a little upset at the conclusion of this novel. The twist at the end was unexpected and shocking. Also, it left me with a lot of questions. Once the I found out that most of the book was made up from Laurel's mind and she actually was raped, I started to ask questions such as: What parts were real and what parts were made up? Was Laurel in the hospital the entire time and was just writing in her journal? How much time actually passed since the attack? Would Laurel have been okay had she not found the picutres or was she already going crazy? Overall the book was good and very thought stimulating.

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2008

    Another Extraordinary Bojalian Book

    From the opening page to the end, I had difficulty putting this book down. It started out with a woman being attacked in late September in Vermont. I froze as I read that as I too had been attacked on the last day of September in Vermont - and the same year as the woman in the book. The references to Waterbury State Hospital had relevance as well as my assailant to this day is the lock-up ward at Waterbury State Hospital. Even with the weird similarities - not many people get attacked in Vermont - the book was a definite page-turner for me and the ending was, well let's just say it was quite a surprise. I loaned The Double Bind to two friends who also truly loved the book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2008

    Bohjalian's Best Yet!

    The Double Bind! I was determined not to read it at a single sitting, but just could not put it down. Fast paced, riveting, wonderful characters!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2007

    Unhappily unexpected

    With the big hype this book received, I purchased another by the author at the same time. After reading this one, I won't read the other. This story should have been packaged very differently--if packaged at all. It was definitely pitched to the wrong audience. I rarely review books I don't recommend, but in this case, I felt genuinely ripped off. I was disappointed by the choppy style, disenchanted with the many poorly drawn characters and jarred by mediocre writing interspersed with literary phrases. The literary descriptions were great, but didn't flow with the adjoining text. If the effort was intentional--to match the thinking pattern of the mentally ill--the experiment was a failure for this reader and came off as merely bad writing. I'm game for an unusual story, but never appreciate being 'knifed in the back' by an author. I had low expectations for the ending, but they weren't low enough. It was awful. I recommend this book only to aspiring writers who want to learn what alienates a reader.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2012

    Great, easy read.

    This was a great book that combined The Great Gatsby with a surprise ending. Highly recommend!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    The Double Bind is a very interesting and captivating book. The Double Bind is so interesting that you do not really want to put in down.

    Laurel, the main character, has encountered these photograghs that were taken by a homeless man, Bobbie Cracker. Laurel is searching to find out who this man is and why he has all these interesting photos. One photo especially sets Laurel off: the one of her biking the day she was raped. Laurel is slowly consumed by the photographs and she is slowly growing away from her friends and family. As the book comes to an end. Laurel realizes that she was completely wrong about Bobbie Crocker. We realize that Laurel is psycotic and made up the whole story. The Double Bind is interesting throughout the whole book, but at the end you may be some what angry and confused.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    A thriller bound to it's twist.

    The issue with the Double Bind is that the book relies too much on its plot twist and its homage to the Great Gatsby. The homages to the Great Gatsby make the book much more frustrating to read if you haven't read the book (which I didn't get the chance to read). The biggest issue is that this can cause the book to mill around in references that make no sense unless you understand the Great Gatsby. Likewise, the book is so closely tied to its plot twist that it has to sacrifice some interesting moments and creativity in order to make the twist believable. The twist itself is great, but the lead up to it is boring and patchy in order to make the twist better. In the end, I wouldn't read the book again, mostly due to the uneven quality of the rest of the plot.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    The Double Bind Review

    The Double Bind is a pretty good book with an interesting plot. When I first starting reading this book I didn't think that I was going to enjoy it. But, the more you get into the book the more it pulls you in. The book starts out with a girl named Laurel who is the main character. She has an interesting past and it's a big part of the plot. At the end, things become very confusing and you will have lots of questions about the book. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy mysteries and pay attention to small details.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    The Double Bind Review

    The Double Bind is an okay book. It was very good in the begining and most way through the book, but towards the end it got very confusing. I would recommend this book to people who pay attention to details and like mysteries. However, i would not recommend this book to anyone who gets lost easily, or to people who do not like surprise endings.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    The Double Bind

    This book was very interesting. There were so many different componets the author worked into the book, that by the end I was speechless. There was a lot of foreshadowing in the book. To be honest, the ending of the book frustrated me. I did not see it coming and it hit me like homerun baseball. It was a mystery and adventure at the same time and I really enjoyed that. It was almost like a crime scene and I found myself trying to plan what would happen next. Over all, it was a decent book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    The Double Bind

    Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. With all the mystery, it kept me engrossed within the pages each time I read. Each chapter presented new clues and information that kept me guessing until the very last chapter. After finishing the book and finding out everything, I can look back now and observe that the author's foreshadowing was very obvious. The twist at the end really caught me by surprise. However, it was definitely a pleasant surprise. it fit the style of the book to a tee.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Hmmm

    I just finished reading this book 20 minutes ago, and I'm a bit on the fence about what I thought of it. For whatever reason, I realized about a third of the way into the book what was going on. The ending didn't match my suspicions entirely, but it was close enough and I was not the least bit surprised (which greatly reduced the magic of the book for me). I believe my foreknowledge was due to either a) One of my favorite books has a very similar ending, and I was able to spot the "truth" simply because I happen to have read this other book, or b) The story was transparent and anyone could easily guess what was going on well before reaching the end. I'm not quite sure which of the above applies. Nevertheless, this book is thought-provoking and informative, with likable main characters. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I feel that I should have.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2008

    Diane, I agree with you re the ending!

    I was so enjoying this book, even recommended it to my sister in England. Then came the ending. I couldn't believe it. What about the letter she finds under the tree? Did that vindicate her? Or was that all in her imagination, too? I really hate endings like that. I, too, liked Laurel and wasn't prepared for her being the mental patient!

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2008

    put me to sleep...

    Willing suspension of disbelief.... right out the window. Fictional dream? Ha!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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