Customer Reviews for

Ten Days in the Hills

Average Rating 2
( 15 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Entertaining

In California, self-help author Elena lives with film director Max but fails to overcome her gloom even during the act. On the morning after the 2003 Oscar Awards and just a few days after the Iraq war started, Max has many guests staying at his home. His agent Stoney...
In California, self-help author Elena lives with film director Max but fails to overcome her gloom even during the act. On the morning after the 2003 Oscar Awards and just a few days after the Iraq war started, Max has many guests staying at his home. His agent Stoney fears he is not able to match the greatness of his dynamic deceased father. Max¿s childhood friend Charlie wraps himself in the flag while antagonistically challenging anyone to oppose the Iraq War. His former mother-in-law Delphine lives in Max's guest house though he divorced her daughter movie star Zoe years ago when he was still prime time not a washed up after thought. Others also staying are Delphine's best friend Cassie, Max and Zoe's daughter Isabel, Elena's son Simon, Zoe and her lover Paul. These people begin telling tales of films over the course of ten days, but soon turn to debating the war in Iraq.--------------- Moving Giovanni Boccaccio¿s Decameron from the hills of Italy to the hills of Southern California, Jane Smiley provides a fascinating ten days of tales, debauchery, and debate (on the second Iraq War that had just begun). The stories within the story are fun to follow more so as they are individual items rather than a collective, but they also lack the intensity of the Decameron whose contrast is established early on when the narrator compares the sickness of love to that of the Black Death. Fans of Ms. Smiley will appreciate her wit as she modernizes the fourteenth century masterpiece though Hollywood is no Florence or even A Thousand Acres in Iowa.------------ Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on December 9, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Not engaging, interesting, or educational

Our book club picked this because we were looking for a light summer read and the reviews said, 'sexy, saucy tales from Hollywood'. I couldn't get past page 120 as it was so boring and uninteresting. Save your reading time for something else.

posted by Anonymous on September 19, 2007

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Entertaining

    In California, self-help author Elena lives with film director Max but fails to overcome her gloom even during the act. On the morning after the 2003 Oscar Awards and just a few days after the Iraq war started, Max has many guests staying at his home. His agent Stoney fears he is not able to match the greatness of his dynamic deceased father. Max¿s childhood friend Charlie wraps himself in the flag while antagonistically challenging anyone to oppose the Iraq War. His former mother-in-law Delphine lives in Max's guest house though he divorced her daughter movie star Zoe years ago when he was still prime time not a washed up after thought. Others also staying are Delphine's best friend Cassie, Max and Zoe's daughter Isabel, Elena's son Simon, Zoe and her lover Paul. These people begin telling tales of films over the course of ten days, but soon turn to debating the war in Iraq.--------------- Moving Giovanni Boccaccio¿s Decameron from the hills of Italy to the hills of Southern California, Jane Smiley provides a fascinating ten days of tales, debauchery, and debate (on the second Iraq War that had just begun). The stories within the story are fun to follow more so as they are individual items rather than a collective, but they also lack the intensity of the Decameron whose contrast is established early on when the narrator compares the sickness of love to that of the Black Death. Fans of Ms. Smiley will appreciate her wit as she modernizes the fourteenth century masterpiece though Hollywood is no Florence or even A Thousand Acres in Iowa.------------ Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 19, 2007

    Not engaging, interesting, or educational

    Our book club picked this because we were looking for a light summer read and the reviews said, 'sexy, saucy tales from Hollywood'. I couldn't get past page 120 as it was so boring and uninteresting. Save your reading time for something else.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2007

    Dull Reading

    I always finish what I start reading but after reading 50 pages I put this book down. I just couldn't continue as there was no substance. The book did alot of star and movie name dropping. But with that the content did not have a good story line. I can read about any topic but this was a no go.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2008

    Extremely Dissapointed

    As a huge fan of Jane Smiley, who finds her books excellent, intelligent reads, I was horridly dissapointed with this novel. Like other reviewers, I pushed myself thru this book as I too commit to finishing any book I start, but I must admit, it was a struggle. I am still trying to figure out what was the point? Rated R -- not for ravishing but rotten

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2007

    3 Words...

    3 words: well written porn. Nothing happens. The characters lay around the house, name drop, and retreat to their respective bedrooms. I kept reading thinking 'something HAS to happen soon,' but alas I was disappointed. Around day 5 of 10 they finally get out of the house and GO SOMEWHERE. But guess what they do at their new setting... lay around, name drop, and fornicate. Where's Waldo has a better plot line than this smut. (I will give credit to the author though, that it is well written smut. Danielle Steel, take note.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2007

    A reviewer

    Is there a second book coming out were it gets to the real story and something happens, I kept reading and reading waiting for something to happen and was very disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2007

    Not Worth My Time

    I have rarely not finished a book once I've started it. Even if I'm not enjoying it, I always feel that there must be redeeming quality coming up. That's not the case with this book. I read about 150 pages because I have enjoyed Smiley's other books, but this one misses the mark by a long shot. If this were a film, most of it would have ended up on the cutting room floor!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2007

    Beware reviews!

    This book received a detailed review in The New Yorker. It sounded great! I really had to force myself to wade through this tedious novel. Definitely would not recommend paying hard-cover price for this book--and perhaps would suggest skipping it in paperback as well. Wish I'd waited to read the B&N reviews before ordering.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2007

    Ten Days In Hell

    I've enjoyed Jane Smiley's previous books (Moo, for example), but this was absolutely dreadful. I kept waiting for something to happen, but this really was like spending 10 days in hell. I just couldn't finish it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2007

    Not her best

    Love Jane Smiley, loved 'Moo' and 'A Thousand Acres.' This is good, but not her best. Re-read 'A Thousand Acres' instead.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2007

    Characters I cared nothing about

    This is the first time I've read Jane Smiley. After the first 20 pages, I was bored. I decided to persevere, because I¿ve always heard good things about the author. At page 100, I gave up (only 335 left to go). I really didn¿t care about the characters populating this novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2011

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    Posted November 23, 2009

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    Posted October 5, 2011

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    Posted October 8, 2009

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