Customer Reviews for

The Double Bind

Average Rating 3.5
( 401 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(139)

4 Star

(117)

3 Star

(71)

2 Star

(46)

1 Star

(28)

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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
  • 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 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 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 6 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2010

    Predictable plot not redeemed by final twist

    If you enjoy books in which famous fictitious characters are brought back to life in a new story line - then give it a go. I normally do not read those books but was willing to give this one a try simply because the back cover suggested a story centering around a homeless man who had a larger than life past worth discovering. Unfortunately for me the plot was too predictable. The twist at the end came across as a "Hail Mary."

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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    Tedious and disappointing.

    Found this to be one of the more tortuous books to get through. Thought it had potential but ended up falling flat and while it had an intriguing beginning, some parts were tortuously long winded and tedious.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2009

    Strange story

    Very dark story. But you need to read it all to even begin to understand it and then.........maybe you still won't know what the author was trying to say.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2008

    Lacking

    I wanted to just give up on this book more than once. But, decided to keep at it till the end. Which, was a mistake.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2008

    Don't waste your time!

    I loved this book until I got to the end. And like one of the other reviews, I felt it was a huge waste of my time. I felt tricked and cheated of my 'happy ending'. I felt like Laurel had been cheated. I loved Laurel. After all of her hard work and effort, or what you though was her hard work and effort, you basically found out that it was a joke! I was actually ticked off after finishing it. I walked around my house grumbling about it's rotten ending and how much time I had wasted on reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2007

    A reviewer

    I actually liked this book until the end. The ending was very unsatisfying, was not cohesive, had several aspects that did not make sense at all (I went back and rechecked several passages which go directly against the ending's premise). When I finished it I was left with the sense that it had been a profound waste of time. I do not recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2007

    Not as good as I expected

    As a BN recommended book, I was very disappointed. I felt the book was entirely too long and much of the material was repetitive. I agree the twist at the end was interesting but could have been reached more quickly. The subplots were boring. I would recommend to skip this BN selection. There is just too much out there to read to put in the time to read this one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2007

    Disappointing- the last I'll read by Chris Bohjalian

    I have decided that I of don't like the genre of mental illness with a twist (i.e.- Me & Emma). When you get involved with a character (although this one remains somewhat aloof and poorly developed) only to have a twist that is a poorly developed ploy to add excitement to the novel, it is rather disappointing. While Me & Emma was a fabulously written tome, this book makes sure I will not bother with others by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2007

    A Disappointing Selection from BN Recommends

    After becoming absolutely enthralled by The Thirteenth Tale, I decided to read the Barnes and Noble recommended selections. Quite frankly, there are so many fiction novels available that I was happy to have a BN sift through all the options so that I didn't waste any more of my time or money on mediocre novels. The Double Bind, however, was a major disappointment. I had a difficult time getting into the plot, and I found the overall wordiness of the novel to be irritating. I can appreciate when a writer uses descriptive language to draw me into the novel or to help me experience the imagery, but this was just wordiness for the sake of being wordy. I believe that one reviewer mentioned that the reader realizes the purpose of the wordiness at the end of the novel I have to disagree with that review. I understand the technique that the writer was attempting to use however, it just didn't work. Further, the plot took way too long to develop. I kept waiting for it and waiting for it, but I didn't get excited about The Double Bind until the last few chapters. So here's the bottom line: the concept behind the book is great, but unfortunately, it was poorly executed. My recommendation is that you save your time and money and pass on The Double Bind.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2007

    Ugh, another typical and corny novel

    After reading all the reviews on this site for this book I really expected a lot and was disappointed immensely. After reading some parts I found myself thinking 'seriously?'. The writing and character development were both decent, but there were more coincidences than a bad thriller which I thought ruined the book. Spend your time on something else.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2007

    LEAVE THE GREAT GATSBY ALONE!

    I would have never bought this book if I knew they were going to rip off The Great Gatsby, one of the greatest books in American Literature. I really like this author, but this book was just bad, the main character was whiny and weird, the 'suprise' ending was easily figured out less than halfway through, the subplots were stupid, and I don't want to think about what happened after The Great Gatsby. A lot of presumption for an author...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2007

    Didn't work for me

    Maybe its me, but I felt as though I was digging around looking for the 'real' story. Great concept, just not well executed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2007

    Predictable and Dull

    This book mediocre at best. It took the author too long to develop everything. It was a 'so what' novel. By the time I was done reading it, I did'nt care about the conclusion, I was just glad to move on to another book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2007

    DID NOT ENGAGE THE READER

    I was terribly disappointed in this third book by an author I like very much. I never felt a connection to the story or the characters. I found it repetitous on many levels, should have been better edited. A real 'drag' to read to the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2007

    Where is the 'pure horror of The Silence of the Lambs?'

    This was from a review on the back cover, but in fact, this was disappointing and definitely not a page-turner. I had a hard time staying interested as it dragged on and on...and I read daily on a long train commute. I did not feel emotionally connected to Laurel, and quite frankly I thought that she was a bit immature, crazy and obsessed. I will not recommend or pass this along to friends.

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