Customer Reviews for

A Reliable Wife

Average Rating 3
( 3294 )
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(868)

2 Star

(468)

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(431)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

47 out of 58 people found this review helpful.

Well! That was interesting!

I really recommend this book if you are the least intrigued by it, two thumbs up. These two main characters are anything but the face they are showing each other. They EACH have baggage. This is anything but a simple, sweet story. This is an easy book to fall into, a fa...
I really recommend this book if you are the least intrigued by it, two thumbs up. These two main characters are anything but the face they are showing each other. They EACH have baggage. This is anything but a simple, sweet story. This is an easy book to fall into, a fast beginning. The writing is compelling, very descriptive, indeed. The characters are all repressed and strange, trying to appear normal. The steamy sex scenes were unexpected, and well, intriguing. There are some murderous notions, too. There are many surprises as we read of extravagance and material wastefulness beyond our wildest dreams. Dysfunctional relationships. There were a couple drops in the story, like turbulence on a plane, as I felt built up, then...bla, bla, and that's that. Yet, as we learned, "such things happen", and perhaps that was intended. The author, though, does a fine job keeping us connected and packing in quite a lot of action in what seems to be about a 6-month roller coaster ride.

posted by dreamerbyday on May 4, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

37 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

Don't be fooled by the first chapter!

I read the sample first chapter, and I was intrigued. The next couple of chapters were interesting, too, and so I kept reading. By the time I realized that I hated this book, I was 100 pages into it and then felt I had to finish. (I hate it when that happens.)

The...
I read the sample first chapter, and I was intrigued. The next couple of chapters were interesting, too, and so I kept reading. By the time I realized that I hated this book, I was 100 pages into it and then felt I had to finish. (I hate it when that happens.)

The writing drove me crazy. To describe the soon-to-be husband's desire, just about every sentence for 5 pages started with, "He wanted..." As in, "He wanted to speak to her of his desire, he wanted to undress her, he wanted to unbutton, he wanted to see her step out of her chemise, he wanted to lead her to his bed, he wanted to pull back the coverlet, he wanted to hold her face, he wanted to kiss her, he wanted her to want all this and he wanted her to fear it, he wanted her to submit..." This goes on for pages and pages while I was saying to myself, "I get it! He's horny!" And when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I read this incredible sentence:

"He wanted to slice her open and lie inside the warm blood of her body."

How romantic! Say what?

The female lead is more interesting, but still badly drawn. She seems to change her persona just by changing her dress. Characters are briefly introduced and then discarded - I didn't understand why, except maybe to fill in more pages between the "He wanted" and "She thought" sentences. None of the "surprises" surprised me.

Skip it!

posted by georface on June 30, 2010

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  • Posted September 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    not worth it

    I had to read this book because my book group picked it. The author seems to have tried to write a literary novel, but it's just a pulpy romance with a lot of angst. Actually, "romance" is the wrong word, because there's nothing romantic here. The characters are one-dimensional and the writing is overly dramatic. The level of sexual obsession of all three main characters just wasn't believable. The random references to people going insane and killing their family members was not put into any context. I've read some excellent novels about the strangeness of the turn of the century, but this doesn't come close.

    If you want a twisty mystery about obsession and betrayal, try Fingersmith, by Sara Waters. If you want a literary novel about love and ruined lives, try Atonement, by Ian McEwan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2010

    Predictable, Shallow, Duuuullll

    The only "twist" in this novel is something that I predicted the moment the character of Anthony was described - and then it went sorrowfully downhill from then! The author's writing style is not very well developed, and as such, he does a poor job developing realistic characters. In part I, you figure out pretty quickly that the main character is lonely/horny/self-indulgent. Goolrick repeats the fantasies over and over again at nauseum. New characters are introduced more as a way of creating a plot-twist than weaving them into a story that then gets a plot-twist (see for example: Alice, who is not mentioned until quite far along in the book). Goolrick also doesn't let things develop, but rather tells the reader things point blank; for example: the reader is left to wonder if one character actually is 'in love' with another but rather than finding out as the story unfolds, Goolrick point blank writes that he (does/doesn't) love her. (I'm trying to not spoil anything if you do decide to read this!) Terrible read that I drudged through hoping it would get better, and it didn't.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    On and On

    This book was so repetative that I finally had to stop reading it because it was becoming annoying. I just did not have the patience to wade though what at that point seemed a preditable plot. I hope to finish it one day. It is very unusual for me to not finish a book. Perhaps I didn't read far enough, but I read way over one hundred pages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2010

    A Reliable Wife

    Don't know how this book got its rating, it could have been written without the description of the sexual thoughts, the plot was poor and the characters boring, would not recomend. this was a book club read and I haven't figured out WHY??

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Really didn't like this book

    I thought this book was boring and very predictable. The characters were shallow and I didn't even care about them. It doesn't make for a very good book when I can't even care about the lives of the characters. The majority of the characters in the book were mean spirited and basically horribly selfish people.

    This book is dark and has no light. It was a dreadfully slow and depressing read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    One of four books I could not finish

    In my life almost 50 years long, I have only not finished four books. This was one of them and was by far the worst of the offenders. I simply can't figure out how on God's green earth this book EVER got published. What a waste of resources.

    The characters were so one dimensional I couldn't develop any kind of interest in them, the plot was so improbable it defied any sort of engagement and the story was just so ridiculously one sided I had no motivation to keep reading.

    Someone, somewhere, is having a good laugh at the expense of those of us who bought this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2010

    Don't read

    This is a dark story obsessed with sex and alcohol--very disappointing I will dispose of this book--not worth the shelf space

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Couldn't figure out why it was getting the reviews

    I would definitely pass on this. We chose this for our book club and everyone thought it was terrible. The author's writing style is annoying, the plot is obvious and the characters are not believeable. We spent most of the time trying to figure out why the book got such good reviews.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    this was one of the most insulting novels i've read in years.

    From the riduculous plot to the cardboard characters to the dramatic twists that didn't ring true, this novel was a terrible attempt to appeal to readers' sensitivity to women who are trapped. It just doesn't work on any level and I felt offended by the amateurish writing as well as the unbelievable plot. It is a "romance" novel trying to be serious! DO not bother! It's a waste of time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

    Review

    This is one of the worst books I have read in a long time. The characters were obsessed with sex and naked bodies. There is no way I
    would read another of his books.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

    Sorry I bothered

    It just wasn't a good story, it wasn't well written, wasn't an interesting plot, plot wasn't carried out well. In addition, it often seemed like the author would write the same descriptions over and over and over again without moving the plot, as if he needed to add words just so he reach a necessary word count, and that made the whole thing drag.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Boring

    I don't think I'm even going to finish this book; just picked it up 3 days ago and I'm about half way through, and I don't even care what happens. It's depressing, boring, overly sexualized without being sensual, and I don't see how it was on the #1 bestseller list.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Unbelievably Disappointing

    It is absolutely shocking that a book of which is so poorly written and uninteresting as this is on all the best seller lists. I cannot imagine that the professional book reviewers who say this book is "great" have even read the book--they certainly did not read the same book that I did. I take no exception to the graphic and explicit sexual nature of the book--to each his or her own. But even the description of the sex was boooooor-ing. The writing is boring, and the plot description on the back of the book pretty much sums it up--no surprises after you read the summary. This is the first review I've ever written for B&N, that just goes to show you how driven I am to warn people away from this book. Also, I resent that somthing so bad can have so much success. It's a big book store, you can find something much, much better to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2010

    Do not waste your time on this book.

    I read a variety of books. This one just does not hit the mark. Our book club agreed, this is the worst book we have read in 5 years.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2010

    Goes to show how worthless praises are from reviewers on the back cover...

    I was looking for a good fiction read, and found this. "#1 New York Times Bestseller," it said on the cover, and had many glorious, beaming praises on the back, all from major reviewers. I bought it, read it, and thought it had to be one of the worst books I've read in recent history! Weak plot, weak character development, very predictable, yada yada yada. What could those reviewers have been thinking? Save your money...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Don't bother

    The reviews were good, so I purchased it. I finished it, but what a waste of time. I thought the characters were weird, the story line and plot were nothing new or original. I kept waiting for something big to happen, but it really never did. Overall, I found it quite boring.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2010

    A waste of time

    This was a terrible book, much to do with sexual obsession and not much else. I skipped most of it and was able to finish the book but I was very disappointed. I will not read anything by this author again.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2010

    terrible

    I really disliked this book. I felt that it was trying very hard to be deep and intriguing yet kept failing. The plot is weak, hard to follow and goes nowhere. I was anxious to get this over with and felt incredibly disappointed upon finishing.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2010

    Sophmoric and one dimensional

    I ordered this book with high anticipation. I can't say how disappointed I was. Goolrick should go back to advertising. I found the sexuality both sophmoric and distracting, then realized there was no real story to be distracted from. A complete and utter waste of time and money.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Train Wreck

    This book is a train wreck. I ashamed to say I finished it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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