Customer Reviews for

Wish You Were Here

Average Rating 2
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(14)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2006

    Waste of Time

    To enjoy a fictional story, I need to like or admire at least one of the characters. The cast of characters consisted of the following: A self destructive recovering alcoholic turned pothead. Her husband is also divorcing her for another woman. She expects people to feel sorry for her dispite the fact that the authur hints that she was guilty of nagging, bullying, and violence towards her husband. A self absorbed middle-aged husband and father who gave up a steady decent paying job to become an untalented and unmotivated photographer. In the process he neglects his wife's and children's financial and emotional needs. A never married, retired school teacher who I liked until she started reminiscing back to her college days when she had an affair with a professor while knowing that he had a wife and daughter. I found the rest of the characters to be dull and one dimentional and the plot to non-existent. I kept hoping that one these damaged individuals see the error of their ways, but by the end of the book, they remained just as selfish as ever. This was a very dispointing book about bad people. I wish I had had thought to read other reviews before purchasing.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A terrible waste of characters

    I stuck with this book until the very end, hoping and hoping that something would happen. Nothing does. O'Nan could have done SO much more with the characters he created. The best part of the book was the cover art, which lured me in but didn't deliver what it promised.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2008

    A Tree Died For This

    Read the first page and the last page, and you will have gotten as much from this book as someone who has read the entire novel. It goes nowhere, does nothing. Writing with this much detail might be a useful literary exercise, but for the reader it is an exercise in boredom. I have read books on tax law that were more engaging.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2006

    Very descriptive writing, but waaaaay too tedious.

    At first, I found the detailed exploration of each character's thoughts and emotions interesting. About a third of the way through the book, I wondered if it would go anywhere. Although O'Nan does an excellent job of painting a vivid picture with his writing, I was disappointed with the lack of a real storyline. This one put me to sleep several times.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2005

    Works better than sleeping pills

    This has to be one of the most/if not the most boring book I have EVER read. It goes nowhere, it does nothing!!! I can not get through more than a few pages without practically falling asleep.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2004

    Disappointed.

    Very disappointed. I kept waiting for something to happen - and nothing did. No closure on the missing girl or to any of the other characters in the book. The last chapter felt like the first.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2004

    Disappointment

    Such a disappointment. I kept reading, thinking it would get better, but it didn't. I had no sympathy for any of these characters and didn't really care what happened to any of them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2004

    Expected much more...

    The thing about this book is that the characters and plot have SO MUCH POTENTIAL for a good read but NOTHING ever happens!! I kept expecting that people would finally confront issues and have a 'knock down drag out fight'. Its 500+ pages of mundane activities of daily living .

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2004

    A Waste of Good Reading Time

    Ugh. So tedious. With so many good books out there, why did I waste my time?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2003

    Tiring after a while

    I believe I would have a better opinion of this book had it been shorter by about a third. It is well crafted for the most part, and evocative at times, but generally dull. The story just goes on and on with the same interior dialogs and melancholic themes. It is peopled by dull, whiny,ineffectual characters who mostly feel sorry for themselves. None of them seem to have a sense of humor. That may be the missing element. I realized on page 278 that I didn't really care what happened to them. Actually, I suspect nothing much does happen, and whatever revelations or spiritual growth might take place, I wasn't really interested. I so wanted to like it -- I usually DO like books of this sort. To be honest,I only read 3/5 of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2003

    SO Disappointing

    Unimaginative, uninspiring, and unemotional. You never get to know the characters - even though you read everything single thought they have throughout the week-long book. There is nothing to connect you with this book - I really didn't care if I finished it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2003

    Wish I Had Read Something Else

    This was one of the worst books I have ever read, with a collection of some of the most unsympathetic characters in recent fiction. I did, however, learn more than I would ever care to know about the cleaning and installation of a septic tank. If you absolutely feel you have to read this book, save your money and buy it in soft cover.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2002

    Disappointing

    When I saw this compared to The Corrections by J. Franzen, I gave it a try. I kept waiting for something....The characters are not humorous in the least--all are rather depressing. Nothing of great value happens here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2002

    Disappointing

    O'Nan let me down with this one. You definitely get to know the charachters, but they're the most boring imaginable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    do not recommend, can't believe there is a sequel

    a boring account of everyday life.

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  • Posted December 15, 2013

    This novel is a character study as well as an exploration of fam

    This novel is a character study as well as an exploration of family dynamics.  While the individual adults may not be "llikeable" they are genuine and I suspect every one of us has a family member who shares some of the characteristics of each adult.  O'Nan succeeds in drawing the reader into the intra-familial conflict and in his painfully honest description of their respective personalities and flaws.  Unlike some reviewers I did not find the characters to be dull and one dimensional.  Nor was I disappointed by the lack of a "plot".  Stewart O'Nan is not John Grisham.  This novel is a quiet exploration of the individual albeit within the context of a family strained by failed expectations, substance abuse and the death of a much beloved(and perhaps idealized) patriarch.  I found the novel engaging and could not put it down.  Each adult character was carefully drawn, flaws and all.  O'Nan draws you in by providing their perspective which often is self absorbed and judgmental about other family member's flaws.  I found myself assessing the fairness of each character's description of Emily, the matriarch, who decided to sell the family cabin after the death of her husband.  The novel centers around one last family vacation to the cabin. O'Nan provides a richly detailed, empathetic view of this family.  You can choose to love it or hate it.  I found it to be an uncannily insightful look into a family, one we all know.   

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2013

    I read this a few years ago and agree with all the bad reviews.

    I read this a few years ago and agree with all the bad reviews. The characters were boring, the novel goes nowhere and I really don't enjoy reading about boring characters on the toilet. Really? that needed to be included?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    Horrible

    Worst book I ever read No story It went nowhere. Now I don't want to read anything else by this author

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Engrossing

    O'Nan is a master at character studies.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2011

    Don't recommend

    Good character devlopment, interesting setting, but not much happened to keep me engaged. I kept waiting for one of the story lines to develop into the "rivetting" element as noted in cover review. I am not eager to pick up another O'Nan novel.

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