Customer Reviews for

A Ship Made of Paper

Average Rating 3.5
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

A good read

As much as I enjoyed Scott Spencer's latest novel, I must say it left me feeling very ambivalent and unsure as to how to reconcile the emotions it left me with. As a black woman in a committed interracial relationship, this book was of particular interest to me. I wa...
As much as I enjoyed Scott Spencer's latest novel, I must say it left me feeling very ambivalent and unsure as to how to reconcile the emotions it left me with. As a black woman in a committed interracial relationship, this book was of particular interest to me. I was looking forward to seeing how such a fantastically gifted writer would handle such a sensitive and volatile issue. Much of the social interactions, unspoken mores and certain aspects of the characters ring true. I actually know people like Hampton Welles. I most sympathized with Daniel, the best developed character in the book. One truly got a sense of his torment and the astronomical price he had to pay to attain the one thing worth living for(and he never really got it). It truly left me with a sense of hope and despair; the resolve of these two tragic characters to contunue on this perilous and bumpy road and the anticipation of a possible love child with the former, and the complete and utter powerlessness of these two thrown together in a relationship that cognitively they know can only end in disaster as it exerts its ripple effect of pain and confusion with the latter.....Very Bittersweet

posted by Anonymous on May 26, 2004

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

A Ship Made of Paper

A catchy title, but unfortunately, I never found myself caught up in the plot. I thought that the characters were poorly developed; each seemed so one-dimensional. I never bought into the love affair between the two main characters. Even at the end of the book, I neve...
A catchy title, but unfortunately, I never found myself caught up in the plot. I thought that the characters were poorly developed; each seemed so one-dimensional. I never bought into the love affair between the two main characters. Even at the end of the book, I never figured out why they fell in love. Considering the overall theme of the book, it lacked any sense of emotion. My book club picked this as a selection and we chose not to even discuss it due to everyone's lack of interest in it.

posted by Anonymous on November 16, 2003

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2004

    A good read

    As much as I enjoyed Scott Spencer's latest novel, I must say it left me feeling very ambivalent and unsure as to how to reconcile the emotions it left me with. As a black woman in a committed interracial relationship, this book was of particular interest to me. I was looking forward to seeing how such a fantastically gifted writer would handle such a sensitive and volatile issue. Much of the social interactions, unspoken mores and certain aspects of the characters ring true. I actually know people like Hampton Welles. I most sympathized with Daniel, the best developed character in the book. One truly got a sense of his torment and the astronomical price he had to pay to attain the one thing worth living for(and he never really got it). It truly left me with a sense of hope and despair; the resolve of these two tragic characters to contunue on this perilous and bumpy road and the anticipation of a possible love child with the former, and the complete and utter powerlessness of these two thrown together in a relationship that cognitively they know can only end in disaster as it exerts its ripple effect of pain and confusion with the latter.....Very Bittersweet

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 27, 2005

    Hard to put down

    This was my first Scott Spencer novel and it truly consumed me. Excellent exploration of race in America through the lens of an interracial relationship. It was throughly fascinating to see it through the eyes of a white male loving an African American female with an extremely successful black husband.It dealt with issues that makes a novel great: infidelity, the legal system (juxtaposed against O.J. trial) and everyones' demons when it comes to race relations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2004

    A beautifully written book

    This book was stunning. This was my first Scott Spencer book and I was so amazed at his writing. The characters were so interesting and intriguing. Why did Daniel fall for Iris? Why did Kate leave her NY life and put up with Daniel? Why did Iris stay with her husband? I love books that don't complete things in a nice pretty package because that isn't real life. Life is hard and complicated and this book was a good example of people trying to make their way through the life they chose and how tragic things can turn. Nobody intentionally meant to hurt anyone but it happens. I hated for this book to end. If you like emotional stories, this is for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2003

    A Ship Made of Paper

    A catchy title, but unfortunately, I never found myself caught up in the plot. I thought that the characters were poorly developed; each seemed so one-dimensional. I never bought into the love affair between the two main characters. Even at the end of the book, I never figured out why they fell in love. Considering the overall theme of the book, it lacked any sense of emotion. My book club picked this as a selection and we chose not to even discuss it due to everyone's lack of interest in it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2003

    Fiction At It's Best

    I picked up this book after reading a review in 'O' magazine. After letting it sit for a week or so, I finally picked it up. I must say, after that I could not put it down! Although Daniel always seems to be in the wrong place at the right time...Iris' house, the woods, Iris' house again..this time with a gun being there too, I enjoyed this book. It's fiction, a love story, passionate, daring,consuming, forgiving. We should all love so deeply? To give up everything? The opinons on that are as vast as the universe. The ending left much to be desired. I guess we as readers have to form our own endings based on our feelings about the subject matter. Do they make it together or not?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    Not as good as most Scott Spencer

    This is my favorite author but it is not his best

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  • Posted March 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good Book, Slow to start but Good.

    This book was very well written. It was very descriptive and detailed which I like because I can place myself at the scene of what is going on. I thought the book dragged a slight bit in the beginning but it picked up quickly. Overall I would say this book was good. The only negative would be the ending. It didn't really have one, which is kind of upsetting when you invest time into a book only to be left wondering what happened to so and so and how about this one and that one.

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  • Posted February 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Scott Spencer is an amazing writer.

    I loved this book. I felt the ending could have been a little stronger, but the intensity and honesty of the characters are both touching and humbling.

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  • Posted December 13, 2008

    Beautifully Unapologetic

    An unapologetic book about adultery and interracial relationships. It's beautifully complex in both theme and style. The writer interweaves snippets of the ending chapters which he then puts together quite powerfully.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2004

    How did this book win any awards??

    This book had the worst grammatical and sentence structure that I have ever witnessed. I understand fully that the style of the literature is what makes a writer unique, yet the rules of grammar and sentence structure apply to us all. The paragraphs of this book read like one unending sentence, and like a very confused thought.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2004

    Unsure

    I am still not sure whether this novel depressed or uplifted me. On one hand, it can be seen as the triumph of love despite racial tension, prior attachments and violence. On the other hand it portrays the tragedy of a love that brings remorse to all involved and then can never fully be realized anyway. I thought the book dealt brilliantly with social issues, using the OJ Simpson trial to illustrate the greater racial tension that exists in the novel. Some of the events in the novel, however, are a bit too coincidental. They are symbolically fascinating, but make the book seem much less realistic and thus much less effective.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2004

    Poetic Prose

    I thoroughly enjoyed the book, one that I would suggest to a friend or coworker. Scott Spencer wove together all of the thoughts, ideas, and fears that some people hold about race and interacial relationships. I think he gives the reader a chance to view race, relationships, and infidelity through the lives of an African-American woman and a Caucasian male. It is great to see that through their differences, Iris and Daniel, they were able to love. What better story line than that?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2003

    A Ship Made of Paper

    A member of my book group suggested this book based on an excerpt she heard on National Public Radio. Unfortunately, after reading the book, she admits that the excerpt she heard was the only part of the book she enjoyed. The few other members who completed the book also voiced their disappointment with it. Personally, I struggled to get through the whole thing as I found it pretty boring. I didn't enjoy any of the characters and never felt the passion between the two lovers. The only portion I found entertaining was the chapter on the storm. I also found the ending to be anti-climatic and found myself happy that I had finally finished it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2003

    somewhat upsetting....

    I am a black female and I must say that after having read this book, I am a little upset by some of the references made by Spencer in the book. For example, what does he mean by having Iris say that it is so much work being black?' What exactly is so hard about being black????? Would he ever have a white character say it is so much work being white or a Jewish character saying that is so much work being Jewish? I also had some problems with his representation of Iris's husband. I don't know, I just came out of it feeling like the black characters in this book were more like what Mr. Spencer thinks about black people rather than what is actually true about black people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2003

    Homework

    Generally, I liked this book, however, as a former speech therapist, having dealt with many aphasic patients, I just couldn't get past Spencer's contrived portrayal of Hampton Welles' global aphasia being a result of suffering an injury to his throat with a Roman candle. Huh? Had Mr. Spencer done his homework on this matter, he would have found that (1) Global Aphasia is somewhat rare and (2) Aphasia is the result of a brain injury (usually thrombosis or embolism from a stroke) and NOT the result of a throat injury which, by the way would likely have rendered Hampton unable to phonate. Perhaps he was saying that Hampton suffered a stroke as a result of the firework hitting his throat however, it more than likely would have killed him in either case. Nevertheless, he was able to evoke strong feelings toward his characters (I wanted to smack the little black kid on several occasions) by way of his prose. I did think Daniel's portrayal as being a magnet to tragedy, bad decisions and being in the wrong place at the wrong time somewhat contrived. The collective incidents in the book made his character somewhat unbelieveable. Nevertheless, Spencer made it easy to see how many lives can be affected by one ill-conceived decision or choice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2003

    I Love This Book

    The main characters are complex, but not murderous or evil. The townspeople don't suffer from that smarmy, 'just folks' stereotype or the other extreme: the distrustful, backwoods weirdos. There is an interesting echo of the Daniel/Iris affair in the Ferguson/Marie story. These are not idealized people, but they are open to themselves, and I like that. But I really like that the main characters are adults. I had a hard time with the teenager image in 'Endless Love.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2003

    Credibility and Circumstances

    Interesting and mostly compelling read about the dynamics of human relationships although I found the circumstances of Hampton's accident at the hands of Daniel somewhat contrived. Several other circumstantial events pushed the limits of credibility. The unresolved ending left me 'hanging out there'. Somehow Daniel's compulsive and addictive behavior does not ring true.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2003

    The Ending

    The ending alone makes this book worth the read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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