Customer Reviews for

The Red Garden

Average Rating 3.5
( 220 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(54)

4 Star

(58)

3 Star

(48)

2 Star

(36)

1 Star

(24)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Not to be missed.

When one goes through a bit of a reading slump it's always a delight to be pulled back into the love of literature by one of your go-to, favorite authors. You know you'll never be disappointed, and I was not when I picked up Alice Hoffman's latest release, The Red Garde...
When one goes through a bit of a reading slump it's always a delight to be pulled back into the love of literature by one of your go-to, favorite authors. You know you'll never be disappointed, and I was not when I picked up Alice Hoffman's latest release, The Red Garden.

A self-proclaimed love letter to Massachusetts, The Red Garden is a compilation of linked short stories revolving around the town of Blackwell. From the day Blackwell is founded, it becomes a town like no other. Whether the death of a small girl, the planting of an apple orchard, or the fish-like woman who stalks the shores of the Eel River, each story introduces a character we come to know intimately. Each glimpse into their lives is, albeit brief, entirely whole and endearing.

Hoffman's stories range from the lighthearted and mischievous, to the eerie and sinister. Without straying from her classically magical prose, each tale is mythologically simplistic, yet haunting and sensual. We meet a hunchback who falls in love with the prettiest girl in town. We meet a woman living in solitude, afraid to admit to others her true desires. We meet two brothers, as different as night and day, traveling by foot through the woods with nothing but apple seeds and each other. It became a delight to finish one story and turn the page to the next, wondering what tale Hoffman would come up with.

True to form, as delightful as every full novel I've read by her, The Red Garden is classic Hoffman in a fresh package. Though she has written story collections in the past, The Red Garden feels different; it feels like Hoffman truly invested a piece of herself in this one. For skeptics wary of the short story collection, take it not for granted. Hoffman shows us why this art form can be as extraordinary as a full novel. Not to be missed.

posted by TheCrowdedLeaf on February 9, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 49 people found this review helpful.

I want to read this book.

But almost 14.00 for a Nook book? I can get the same on Kindle for 9.99 and I can get the hardcover book from them for 15.00. I'm really disappointed that BN has upped their Nook prices like this! I can see why some of my friends no longer buy books on their Nooks and o...
But almost 14.00 for a Nook book? I can get the same on Kindle for 9.99 and I can get the hardcover book from them for 15.00. I'm really disappointed that BN has upped their Nook prices like this! I can see why some of my friends no longer buy books on their Nooks and only use library books on them instead.

posted by english_teacher_39yrs on January 27, 2011

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 222 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 12
  • Posted February 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not to be missed.

    When one goes through a bit of a reading slump it's always a delight to be pulled back into the love of literature by one of your go-to, favorite authors. You know you'll never be disappointed, and I was not when I picked up Alice Hoffman's latest release, The Red Garden.

    A self-proclaimed love letter to Massachusetts, The Red Garden is a compilation of linked short stories revolving around the town of Blackwell. From the day Blackwell is founded, it becomes a town like no other. Whether the death of a small girl, the planting of an apple orchard, or the fish-like woman who stalks the shores of the Eel River, each story introduces a character we come to know intimately. Each glimpse into their lives is, albeit brief, entirely whole and endearing.

    Hoffman's stories range from the lighthearted and mischievous, to the eerie and sinister. Without straying from her classically magical prose, each tale is mythologically simplistic, yet haunting and sensual. We meet a hunchback who falls in love with the prettiest girl in town. We meet a woman living in solitude, afraid to admit to others her true desires. We meet two brothers, as different as night and day, traveling by foot through the woods with nothing but apple seeds and each other. It became a delight to finish one story and turn the page to the next, wondering what tale Hoffman would come up with.

    True to form, as delightful as every full novel I've read by her, The Red Garden is classic Hoffman in a fresh package. Though she has written story collections in the past, The Red Garden feels different; it feels like Hoffman truly invested a piece of herself in this one. For skeptics wary of the short story collection, take it not for granted. Hoffman shows us why this art form can be as extraordinary as a full novel. Not to be missed.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 31, 2011

    An amazing story

    This is an amazing book. It kept me completely rivited. I recommened it for sure!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    By the BOOK not the NOOK

    I was this was supposed to be used to review the BOOK not the NOOK.

    8 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 9, 2011

    Facinating and Beautiful

    The book was wonderful. It caught me from the very first page and I couldn't put it down. Highly recommend!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 6, 2011

    i love the Nook

    I love my Nook, with the nook you can check out ebooks from your library for FREE which you cannot do with the Kindle. That has saved me lots of money.

    6 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 12, 2011

    Amazing

    It has been a long time since I have read a book that I can actually say was phenomenal. The characters and the way they intertwine throughout the book keep it easily flowing. It was a moving book with short stories that are sure to touch the heart of anyone reading the book. At times I found myself crying, especially over the dog that refused to leave his owner's grave day in and day out. I would highly recommend this book to everyone!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    One of Hoffman's Best

    This book is stunning. I hated putting it down. Beautifully written with just the right amount of Hoffman's magic. I highly recommend this book.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2011

    Pass

    This book sounded promising and the story it weaved over a centuries time would have been good if it had an ending that tied it all together. I kept reading (even through the chapters where I had no connection with the characters) because I thought the story would have been tied up in a nice package at the end. It was a big let down. Stick with Sarah Addison Allen for a story with a good ending.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    As a long time Alice Hoffman fan, I consider this one of her best books. I love her sensitive writing about animals and nature plus there is always an element of magic. I shed a few tears reading this book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2011

    Lacking

    I didn't care for this one. Each chapter is based on different characters. Because of this, you barely get to know the characters, and it's difficult to really get into the story. By the end, the entire book seemed pointless. It felt like it had potential to be a good book, but overall it was just lacking.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2011

    Perfect!!!

    Ah...do they get any better than Alice Hoffman? The Red Garden is a beautiful compilation of intertwined short stories that touch your heart and your imagination. The writing is magical and mythic. Reading Alice Hoffman is always a wonderful and addictive experience. Do not miss her latest achievement.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2011

    Worst A. Hoffman book I've ever read.

    I'm sorry but I found this book so boring. Each chapter a short story with many years between. I don't write book reviews so I don't really know all of the proper ways to say boring except boring. A real snoozer zzzzzzz. Uninteresting people leading uninteresting lives in an uninteresting town. I couldn't wait to be done with it and not happy that I paid to read this garbage. Don't waste your money.
    Also, did everyone think they were going to get their ebooks free? You can get free e-books in other places and they are always adding free ebooks on B&N. You can get free reading material at smashwords. You just have to look around. It may not be all the bestsellers but there are lots of good things to read. You just have to side load them.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2011

    review

    Would be nice if someone actually did a review of the book instead of complain about the price

    2 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 5, 2011

    crabby crabby people

    did any of you even read this book? as for the kindle, the customer service is nill, no way to increase memory, no software updates, and can't do the library or other websites.

    2 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    Loved this book

    If you could not figure out the links from one story\chapter in this book to the next, you weren't reading it very well. Each chapter could stand alone in its beautifully descriptive prose, but all the generations put together made an unforgettable story. Such a clever device, putting together a string of "snapshots" that give the reader insight into each character and that character's place in relation to the others in the narrative. The reading, having "met" each character's ancestor, comes to realize why each successive person behaves the way he or she does. One must discover each person through small, subtly revealing details that lead to a string of "aha" moments at the end of each chapter. When you finish one chapter you can't wait for the surprises in the next. It reminded me of the James Michener sagas, and also - thanks to that earlier reviewer for the reminder it IS a bit like The Red Violin although it is the town that is the common thread from generation to generation, not an object. I will definitely read more by this author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    No stars..

    I should have paid more attention to the reviews. I caught a few stories published free and thought eh, they must tie together eventually. For convenience I bought the book... very disappointing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    Lovely, Intertwined Stories

    Fanciful and yet very real stories about human nature and life. This is a lovely book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Still good, but not my fav AH novel.

    I love the way she conveys aloneness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2011

    Interesting

    Im not really sure how I feel about this book. Some of the stories are really touching. But so many people in the town are tortured souls- seriously no one is just plain happy?? But its interesting how all the lives entwine.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    Highly recommended

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book and having such a different main character

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 222 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 12