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Posted September 14, 2012
I like Steven Savile, I've read him before and really enjoyed the story but this book was just too much.
Too long, too many characters, too many loose ends. A great editor could have chopped this in half and I feel like it would have been a really good book, there was just so much to slog through to get to the action and so many characters to try to keep straight that it really tried my patience. Chapters devoted to characters that were never heard from again, and I still have NO idea how the "virus" spread, it just seemed to appear wherever needed as a plot point. One minute it takes a few days for someone to be infected, the next thing you know half the town has it. I'll probably give the writer another try, but this was a disappointment.
Posted February 13, 2012
Re-touched and updated for 2010, Sufferer’s Song is nevertheless one of the first novels written by the now best-selling Mr Savile, way back before ebooks (1991 or so).
In part, it shows. The length of the book when compared to other early releases The Last Angel and Outcasts (both since renamed from The Secret Life of Colours and Laughing Boy’s Shadow), seems almost gratuitous, as indeed is a lot of the violence on offer. Although not unnecessary in its content or timing, some of it is not for the faint-hearted.
Told in segments as the Virus and the madness of the decaying fabric of the sleepy Tyne Valley community of Westbrooke transform the characters – the story begins with missing people and a relentless journalist Kristy French, and swiftly picks up a host of players who all teeter on the edges of their individual sanity; Todd Devlin the insane Detective, Alex and Johnny the tearaway Teens, Billy the lonely, abused farm boy, Ben Shelton the struggling writer/lecturer, and the rest of the village, who by turns all connect to each other through regular life, but swiftly turn inside out as the Virus sweeps the community.
With a trademark vision that captures minutely the fragmentation and transformation of all the characters - some prey to the ravaging Virus, others to their own dark secrets, but all from inside the screaming, confusing din of their own psyches’ – the focus here (although a touch drawn out in the middle), builds to the kaleidoscope of shocking and staccato riot scenes as the story collapses in on Westbrooke and the desperate fight for survival, mirroring the same burn out of the Virus, as swiftly as it arrived.
If you want a really good read that still illuminates how a talented young author evolves into the well-honed craft of later works like For This Is Hell, Silver and The Sally Reardon Mysteries – then look no further than Sufferer’s Song.
Posted December 23, 2010
No text was provided for this review.