Customer Reviews for

The Innocents

Average Rating 3.5
( 55 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Discriminating readers only. Along with the gorgeous cover shot

Discriminating readers only. Along with the gorgeous cover shot this book is beautifully written; Segal inserts uncommon words which in my opinion only make the reader wiser. I.E. uxorious-page 161. Her writing makes astute readers have only one reaction; grateful ...
Discriminating readers only. Along with the gorgeous cover shot this book is beautifully written; Segal inserts uncommon words which in my opinion only make the reader wiser. I.E. uxorious-page 161. Her writing makes astute readers have only one reaction; grateful astonishment. While her writing lineage is impressive; her father is the late Erich Segal (Love Story) she appears to be a talented writer well ahead of her time. If you're looking for wooden, stale characters you won't find them here. This is a story that simmers slowly and reveals the complexity of the human spirit. The main character is male and Jewish. This is easily one of the best books I've read
this year. Exquisite!!! Loved it.

posted by L.A.Carlson-writer on June 29, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

22 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

Disappointing

Full disclosure, I have never been the biggest fan of Edith Wharton, but I was excited to hear about this modern rendetition of "The Age of Innocence." I had heard good things, and was excited to give this a try. However, I found the book to be overhyped and underwhelmi...
Full disclosure, I have never been the biggest fan of Edith Wharton, but I was excited to hear about this modern rendetition of "The Age of Innocence." I had heard good things, and was excited to give this a try. However, I found the book to be overhyped and underwhelming. I really had a hard time accepting our "hero," as I found him to be whiny, obnoxious, and indecisive. I never enjoyed Goethe's "The Sorrows of Young Werther," as I always wanted Werther to move on and accept his fate and find a nice girl to settle down with. However, I would gladly read "Werther" everyday, because I appreciate his devotion and decisiveness. Compared to Adam in "The Innocents," Werther is a role model. I wish Adam would have followed Werther's lead and ended things for himself, I would have been put out of my misery much sooner.

I have no problems with the anti-hero or the Byronic hero (in fact Heathcliff in "Wuthering Heights" is one of my favorite literary characters of all time), but there are few people to root for in this story - even accepting the skewed kleidescope of an anti-romance. Adam, as I mentioned, is a putz...I would have paid for him to meet his Maker. Rachel, poor dippy thing, I never had an affinity for. She probably annoyed me more than Adam, especially because her entire self worth seemed contingent on having a man. Yes, I know that fits with Wharton's time, but as this is a modern re-telling I would have preferred some more feminism.

The only characters I seemed to like were the minor characters of Ellie, Ziva, and Lawrence. But no one felt like a fleshed out character. In Fydor Doestoyevsky's masterpiece "The Brothers Karamazov" no character felt extraneous. Father Zosima had life and depth. Grushenka was more than a stereotpical prostitute; she had her own thoughts and her love for Mitya was truer than the so-called chaste Lisa's, and Smerdyokov transcended the caricature of villany to be a beautiful, complex, philosophical character at the heart of the novel. In "The Innocents" everyone is cardboard, knocked over with the slightest breeze, and unable to bear up to analytical interpretation.

In the end, not only do the characters resemble stereotypes,there is nothing at their hearts: They are hollow and wooden, souless.

I wanted to enjoy this novel, but might have been better taking a pass.

posted by DimWit on June 18, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    Disappointing

    Full disclosure, I have never been the biggest fan of Edith Wharton, but I was excited to hear about this modern rendetition of "The Age of Innocence." I had heard good things, and was excited to give this a try. However, I found the book to be overhyped and underwhelming. I really had a hard time accepting our "hero," as I found him to be whiny, obnoxious, and indecisive. I never enjoyed Goethe's "The Sorrows of Young Werther," as I always wanted Werther to move on and accept his fate and find a nice girl to settle down with. However, I would gladly read "Werther" everyday, because I appreciate his devotion and decisiveness. Compared to Adam in "The Innocents," Werther is a role model. I wish Adam would have followed Werther's lead and ended things for himself, I would have been put out of my misery much sooner.

    I have no problems with the anti-hero or the Byronic hero (in fact Heathcliff in "Wuthering Heights" is one of my favorite literary characters of all time), but there are few people to root for in this story - even accepting the skewed kleidescope of an anti-romance. Adam, as I mentioned, is a putz...I would have paid for him to meet his Maker. Rachel, poor dippy thing, I never had an affinity for. She probably annoyed me more than Adam, especially because her entire self worth seemed contingent on having a man. Yes, I know that fits with Wharton's time, but as this is a modern re-telling I would have preferred some more feminism.

    The only characters I seemed to like were the minor characters of Ellie, Ziva, and Lawrence. But no one felt like a fleshed out character. In Fydor Doestoyevsky's masterpiece "The Brothers Karamazov" no character felt extraneous. Father Zosima had life and depth. Grushenka was more than a stereotpical prostitute; she had her own thoughts and her love for Mitya was truer than the so-called chaste Lisa's, and Smerdyokov transcended the caricature of villany to be a beautiful, complex, philosophical character at the heart of the novel. In "The Innocents" everyone is cardboard, knocked over with the slightest breeze, and unable to bear up to analytical interpretation.

    In the end, not only do the characters resemble stereotypes,there is nothing at their hearts: They are hollow and wooden, souless.

    I wanted to enjoy this novel, but might have been better taking a pass.

    22 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 22, 2012

    I haven't read the book but I'd like to know how one can call 10

    I haven't read the book but I'd like to know how one can call 100 pages
    a book. It's a short story and shouldn't be called a book.

    10 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Discriminating readers only. Along with the gorgeous cover shot

    Discriminating readers only. Along with the gorgeous cover shot this book is beautifully written; Segal inserts uncommon words which in my opinion only make the reader wiser. I.E. uxorious-page 161. Her writing makes astute readers have only one reaction; grateful astonishment. While her writing lineage is impressive; her father is the late Erich Segal (Love Story) she appears to be a talented writer well ahead of her time. If you're looking for wooden, stale characters you won't find them here. This is a story that simmers slowly and reveals the complexity of the human spirit. The main character is male and Jewish. This is easily one of the best books I've read
    this year. Exquisite!!! Loved it.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted June 22, 2012

    ok read

    I'm but sure why this book is part of the book club but I didn't find it very well written. The author spends a lot of space on detailing things that don't seem very important.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 17, 2012

    I agree with some of the others. This book did not live up to th

    I agree with some of the others. This book did not live up to the hype
    at all for me. I felt it to be a story told too many times before. The
    details were a bit boring at times and I felt like screaming at the male
    character for being such a flipping idiot. This was forgettable and I'll
    likely not read another book of hers.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted August 3, 2012

    Drawn in

    I loved this book. I was drawn in by the realistic depiction of the characters and their life style. The writer's development & depth of the thoughts of the main character was very well written. I became sympathetic to the issues he was wrestling with. I especially loved the actions of Ellie-----spot on. Great read! The book even helped me to clarify things in my own life too.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 16, 2012

    Loved this book - couldn't put it down. I finished it in two day

    Loved this book - couldn't put it down. I finished it in two days. She gets it right about the community and all the relationships feel so real. Great ending!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2012

    Re: My name is maliyah

    Why dont you read the book review?r

    3 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2012

    This book was sensational. I came to care deeply about the main

    This book was sensational. I came to care deeply about the main character, Adam, and felt invested in the choices he made. The portrait of the Jewish people's love for family and community was eye-opening and envy-inspiring.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 28, 2012

    The book was just ok for me. I enjoyed parts of it, particularly

    The book was just ok for me. I enjoyed parts of it, particularly the descriptions of the tight knit Jewish community, but overall, I found the story to be pretty trite.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2012

    Look good

    1 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2012

    Loved it - and unexpectedly funny

    I really enjoyed this book. The characters dilemmas really stayed with me. I keep thinking about it and wondering whether Adam did the right thing. Perfect summer reading. I am going to give it to my book club for fall.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2014

    Fun

    A graet read and very wrll written

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  • Posted May 17, 2013

    Recommend

    Very interesting.

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

    Posted March 7, 2013

    Loved

    This wad a great read

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is a beautiful book about family, dreams, desire, great sad

    This is a beautiful book about family, dreams, desire, great sadness & innocence lost, sublime...
    Adam & Rachel come from a close knit London Jewish society & have known each other since kindergarten. they always knew they would be together. Recently engaged they navigate their way through family, friends and the life they know they want, or do they? Rachel has always known just what she expects from life and will tolerate nothing else. When Ellie, Rachel's exotic beautiful cousin comes to visit from New York City, everything Adam thought he knew he wanted starts to skew slightly...
    I found this book very sad. The path we choose in life. What is happiness? is it freedom, children, love...

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Excellent description of the British Jewish conservadox community and a good story

    I enjoyed the book. I particularly enjoyed the way the community would stick to its values, without ever rejecting the people tainted with scandal, deviation, or sin. The main characters are well drawn. I particularly loved Ziva.

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

    Posted November 10, 2012

    Anonymous

    I could not put this book down until I finished it. I absolutely loved it. The characters were real and I could swear they are people I actually know with their names changed! I thought the story was gripping, well-written. and in a way, sad. The main character, Adam, was a stereotypical example of a young man following a particular path because it is what is expected of him and he is too afraid to do anything different. His agony is palpable throughout the book. As much as I enjoyed the book, there were a couple of things in the book that puzzled me. One, the fact that the 90 year old grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, was so internet savvy did not seem realistic to me. And second, the ritual circumcision, or "Bris" for 8 day old baby boys is perhaps the most sacred and most important of all Jewish laws. It is not just a tradition or ritual, it is a law of G-d of the highest order for all Jews. Even Jews who are not observant of the faith in any other way are deeply committed to the bris performed by a mohel with the proper prayers and blessings to envelope their sons into the covenant of Judaism. I was very confused at the end of the book when the parents of the baby boy did not hold this ceremony sacred. ( Trying not to spoil the ending here!)

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2012

    couldn't stop reading

    This was a very interesting read. I could not put the book down. it had a very different ending than I thought it would have. It was quite suprising.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2012

    Not bad, a quick read.

    I enjoyed it but wasn't fascinated or riveted. I had trouble understanding the main character's attraction to the cousin, though I did understand his frustration with his dependent wife.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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