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The Writing Circle

Average Rating 3.5
( 113 )
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5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(30)

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(38)

2 Star

(16)

1 Star

(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Highly Recommended

Lyrical prose combines with witty dialogue to keep you reading from the first page. The Writing Circle follows a group of writers and their social and moral struggles over the integrity of their work and of their attractions. Love and friendship end up leading to both...
Lyrical prose combines with witty dialogue to keep you reading from the first page. The Writing Circle follows a group of writers and their social and moral struggles over the integrity of their work and of their attractions. Love and friendship end up leading to both happiness and disaster. Various pieces of writing presented by the different members create another textual layer, alongside the clever dialogue and an alternating point of view. The final events spiral out from one another, forcing us to examine the boundaries between life and art, as well as the consequences of ambition. I highly recommend this as a summer read.

posted by KLOKO on July 19, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Great Read

The Writing Circle presented very real people to me. They all had flaws and insecurities. They were not perfect people, acting perfectly. How they lives become related drives this story. This book is still making me think as I reflect on the characters or the storyline...
The Writing Circle presented very real people to me. They all had flaws and insecurities. They were not perfect people, acting perfectly. How they lives become related drives this story. This book is still making me think as I reflect on the characters or the storyline. Everyone in the book discussion I was in had very strong feelings and very different feelings about scenes and characters in the book. This all makes a good book.

posted by pen21 on June 18, 2010

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  • Posted July 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    "Circle" indeed; my head was spinning through many parts of this novel

    The Writing Circle is about a group of writers who gather to critique each others' work. The "circle" also involves how the characters' lives are intertwined. The concept is unique and interesting; however, the author fails to grab your attention in many respects. I found the book very hard to get into at first. I also found that the flip-flopping way that the author went from character to character was annoying and very difficult to follow at times. I couldn't tell exactly what state this book was supposed to be set in - though I gathered that it was New England - and I had a hard time figuring out the ages of many of the characters (unless they were specifically stated). Some of the descriptions were vague enough to mislead, until you read further and worked it out based on other facts that surfaced.

    Corrine Demas has a lot going on in this book -- there are many characters (some of whom are overdeveloped, some of whom are underdeveloped) and many storylines. Some characters' storylines fall flat early on and others just end. I found the end of this book to be very unsatisfying; this story has no real ending, thus no closure for many of the characters.

    Many say this novel is about loyalty, betrayal and the relationships among the characters. That may be, but there has to be some sort of closure for the reader to get satisfaction out of this novel. This book really picks up the pace in the last 3-4 chapters, but I found that it was far too late to really improve my reading experience, especially since the ending was so disappointing.

    Overall, the writing wasn't horrible, but some of the references were very obscure - which I found to be a bit pompous. I would only recommend this book to reading clubs to discuss the various aspects of the author's style and what she hoped to accomlish with this novel. It's unfortunate, as I had high hopes for this book. This is my third "First Look" B&N book club novel, and I enjoyed the other two far more than I enjoyed this one.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Missing an ingredient

    The Writing Circle was a bit of a disappointment to me. As a reader, I am accustomed to slow build-up in a novel and I understand the need for back-story regarding characters. However, The Writing Circle seemed to be compiled of ¾ slogging build-up and back-story, leaving the "meat" of the novel for the final 3 or 4 chapters. Even after the back-story, I felt the characters weren't fleshed out. They felt shallow and were difficult for me to care about. The story itself was a great concept, however some of the plot lines were left unresolved and one of the supporting characters seemed to have been completely forgotten. This character's major situation was significant to the back-story of one of the main characters, however not significant enough for the author to resolve the issue for the reader. The premise itself is wonderful, providing excellent fodder for discussion regarding friendship, betrayal, and the difference between what is right and wrong.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Writing Circle

    It is not quite what I thought the book was going to be about. Try to re-read it several times and I kept wanting to put this book down and to read something else. What was hard for me was the characters and not being able to spent more time with them. What I didn't like was all of the jumping around from character to character. What my final thoughts are that this book was so very disappointing for me and not a book that I would have read.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Drawn To the Characters, but Not the Plot

    I read The Writing Circle as part of Barnes & Nobles First Look Book Club. Reading it as part of a digital book club was a great experience, but I still couldn't get much into the book. The characters drew me in, especially Gillian, but I wanted more about each of the characters. There were so many characters and little focus on anyone of them, so my interest waned. The plot of the book did not draw a emotional response from me. I didn't care about the resolution, because I didn't care about the problems the characters were going through.

    Wish I could have cared more about this book!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2010

    An interesting theme that sadly missed the mark

    The idea of a writing club and the people in it, and the way their relationships could go so wrong was intriguing. Unfortunately, the characters were boring, silly, and selfish for the most part. I could not imagine wanting to read stories they wrote. For people who can read novels and not care about the characters at all, this book would be interesting and fresh.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2010

    Not quite what I was looking for

    I started this book with high hopes, as the prologue really grabbed me. However, the beginning of the actual story was a slog, and the switching between characters was distracting, leaving the reader to feel that none of the characters were really developed. The end was interesting, and not what I'd expected. It made the end a pleasure to read, but I still feel that the characters were not as developed as I'd have liked them to have been. Given that this book really is a character study more than anything else, I feel they should have been fleshed out a little better.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2010

    The Writing Circle from Hell

    The idea for The Writing Circle is excellent. A writing circle is a closed part of society for many people. Avid readers want to know more about writers. This offered a peek into what goes on behind the scenes. That being said, I was disappointed in the novel. The writers in the writing circle were all very self-absorbed, jealous people with the possible exception of Virginia. I didn't feel interested in any of them, if I hadn't been reading the book for a First Look, I probably wouldn't have finished it.

    The presentation of the characters dragged without much plot in the early chapters. There was a great deal of back story, much more that I felt was necessary to understand the interaction among the people in the group. The characters seemed pretty much stock characters. From the beginning Gillian was the villain. Nancy was the victim. I think the author was trying to make a point about morality; however,portraying Gillian as completely self-absorbed and amoral reduced the impact of her actions.

    I wanted to like the book. I think the theme was a excellent choice. However, I was disappointed in the execution.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2010

    Couldn't Love It, Not Sure I Liked It

    I'll pass on the plot since many others have covered that. This book is an easy read and most likely enjoyable to many. I read it twice because I needed to write a review and honestly I needed to refresh my memory. I personally found it difficult to like any of the characters from one pass to the next, nope not even Nancy. And in the end, there was no ending.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2010

    the writing circle

    Had a hard time getting into the characters with this book. I feel that the e-book format may have been at fault. It was hard to sit at the computer and get involved with what was happening in the story. May try to read it again when it is out in paperback.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2010

    I kept hoping it would pick up.

    While I think the author does have a gift in the way she writes, I thought this book was too slow to start and too involved. For more than the first half of the book, I was waiting for it to pick up. By the time it did pick up, it was too late. I couldn't really make myself care about any of the characters.

    There was a lot of jumping around between characters and their writing. It was difficult to follow which made it difficult to form a connection with the characters.

    I would try reading another book by Corrine Demas because I did think she wrote with a lyrical style, but I hope the next one will be more focused on a few characters.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2010

    Very Disjointed

    I struggled with this book. I really wanted to like it but I couldn't. The characters didn't inspire any form of attachment and when each chapter switched to a new character it just made the story seem very disjointed. If you can make it to the end of the book, maybe the last quarter of the book, it actually has some interesting spots. Makes you wish that the rest of the book had been written the same way. I probably would not recommend this book to anyone.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointing.

    I really wanted to like this book. The concept was very promising. A group of writers who get together regularly to critique each others work and how their lives begin to intertwine and impact each other. The author also raises some interesting moral issues that make for great discussion. However there were too many subplots to keep track of and the characters are very superficial and not particularly likable. In my opinion the author put too much focus on unnecessary subplots and not enough on the main plot of the the story. The ending was abrupt and too much left unfinished.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 25, 2010

    A Frustrating Read

    This book was not what I expected. I thought I would be getting a glimpse into the inner workings of a writers circle and how the member's lives interconnected. It actually focused very little on the actual group meetings. The frustrating part is the book is written in third-person, but each chapter jumps from one character to another. It feels like a book full of short stories that came unbound, someone put it back together all out of order and left out pages.

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2010

    Disappointed by a lack of depth

    This is a superficial book, but not along the lines of teenage girls worrying if their eyelids are too fat. The book allows a superficial peek at the characters and plot and not much else. I don't feel that I got to know any of the characters well. There were too many focused on for short bursts. It went along appearing to be a character study without letting the reader study the characters and then seemed to turn into one of the character's books, again briefly. The ending felt like the rest of the book, a meandering glimpse with a rush to nowhere. I wish we could have stayed longer with fewer characters, to match the themes and ambitions of the book.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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