This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

War in a Beautiful Country by Patricia Ryan

War in a Beautiful Country

by Patricia Ryan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
113,689,591 (5)None
Recently added byRodRaglin

No tags.



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

From concept, to presentation, to writing – original and compelling

As I write this review I’m quite pleased this novel has had little no recognition. I don’t say this out of spite. I say this because if something as good as War in a Beautiful Country (WBC) by Patricia Ryan can stay undiscovered than I don’t feel so bad about my books.

WBC is the work of genius – from concept, to presentation, to writing. My books in comparison are, well, let’s say I have something to aspire to.

It’s quirky, perceptive and funny. It’s poignant as well as enlightening, entertaining and original. It ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous and covers a lot of the stuff in between.

The protagonist is Regina, a middle aged woman living in New York City. Regina begins getting surface mail from an anonymous person threatening to blow her up. The idea her life might end violently and without warning makes her examine her existence; her art, her relationships, her activities, her purpose.

WCB is wickedly funny and at the same time wise and worldly with fascinating insights on art and relationships. The prose is crisp and edgy, characters well developed and memorable. There’s powerful imagery and “shock and awe” metaphors.

Perfect? Not quite.

Ryan ignores quite a few writing conventions. It’s not uncommon to have three POV’s in one paragraph – two character’s and the narrator – it gets crowded and confusing.

She has some inventive ways of using punctuation including colons and combinations of question marks and exclamations marks!?!

Not infrequently, the rants by characters smack of author intrusion since they’re not consistent with the character’s personality and don’t advance the narrative. I forgave this because they are often so entertaining I didn’t really care.

Some might also consider the novel too introspective and lacking in action.

To best describe my reaction to this novel is to use the character, Regina’s own words on how she feels when she comes upon “the real thing in others.” Several times while reading this work I had “oh, my god!” moments. I am “staggered under the weight of Patricia Ryan’s talent”.

When God dispensed the Talent Dust, Ryan obviously got equal amounts of magenta (desire) and teal (ability). I was one of the many who got only magenta. Drat.

I downloaded this novel free from Smashwords as part of my commitment to review the work of independently published authors ( )
  RodRaglin | Apr 18, 2015 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (5)
5 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 127,230,201 books! | Top bar: Always visible