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Camino Island

by John Grisham

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Camino Island (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,654837,369 (3.55)28
Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts. Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer's block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable's circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets. But eventually Mercer learns far too much.… (more)
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» See also 28 mentions

English (78)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (82)
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
Grisham, John. Camino Island. Camino Island No. 1. Delacorte, 2017.
In Camino Island, John Grisham abandons courtroom drama for a fun little caper story. Some thieves with quite a bit of skill and imagination manage to steal a rare manuscript by F. Scott Fitzgerald from the Princeton University library. Our hero is a bookstore owner on an island off the Florida coast. He is recruited to infiltrate the criminal gang because he sometimes deals in the seamier side of the rare book market. A perfect beach read, if only the beaches were open. ( )
  Tom-e | Jul 6, 2020 |
I did not finish this book. It did not deserve my time and energy. The plot was like swiss cheese. The narrative was ridiculous. The characters could have been interesting then then he made them do/stay stupid stuff over and over again. Something tragic must have happened to his editor preventing him from working on the manuscript. Really, honestly, there is absolutely NOTHING right about this book. Oh and I listened to the audible version and the reader was not good either. ( )
  susandennis | Jun 5, 2020 |
“Camino Island” starts as a fast moving, (very) stripped down, matter of fact, look how ingenious we are, heist. The plot moves along rapidly, if somewhat mechanically, executing what should have been the perfect robbery. The thieves are straight from central casting. The items being stolen, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s manuscripts, are the only original things in the opening chapters. If this had been a movie, the robbery would have taken place as a background to the credits rolling by and no one would have missed anything.

Then the flow of the book suddenly slows and we’re gently meandering through the life of our heroine, a woman with one successful novel behind her, weighed down by her student loan debt, about to lose her teaching job, involuntarily single and three years behind on writing her next novel.

It turns out she is the last best hope for retrieving the missing manuscripts. She accepts payment to go back the island she grew up on and spend the summer infiltrating the life of a bookseller, suspected of holding the manuscripts.

Much of the book is spent describing the books seller’s life, the lives of the other writers on the island (they are legion) the changing nature of the publishing world, the delights of good food, fine wine and antique Provençal furniture and the freedoms of an open marriage.
The dialogue is well done and the characters are clearly drawn but I felt that I had walked into a different novel (possibly written by a different author) than the one I’d started. I was less engaged that I could have been as I found the bookseller unattractive and our heroine passive and voyeuristic.

I kept reading partly because I wanted to see how this dive into Floridian book culture would connect back to the heist and partly because the writing made up for the plot.
In the end, the clever twist emerges and is well executed but it had all the emotional impact of a magician pulling a rabbit from a top hat.

The epilogue that brings the main characters together for a final resolution simply confirmed that I didn’t like or care about either of them.

This is not a bad book but it left me feeling a little cheated because the heist never got passed the cardboard cut-out stage and most of the book was as thrilling as watching strangers drink too much and talk too much at a cocktail party ( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
4- 4.5 stars. ( )
  JCGirl | May 15, 2020 |
This book is about around 80 years old manuscript written by a great author which is stolen and it's journey from a library to the same library becoming more precious than before. This book is about books with first edition printing and the importance of such books and people who go crazy handling such books and also take extreme steps to save them. This book is beautifully posed it revolves around books but author has made story interesting with including the cleverness of Bruce cable who hits a jackpot on his 20th year as his father leaves him lots of money and he comes vacationing in this island and makes it his home by immersing into books and writers. overall it's a good Goodread... 😊 ( )
  ShriVenne | May 14, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Grisham, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Defert, DominiqueTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To Renee. Thanks for the story
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The imposter borrowed the name of Neville Manchin, an actual professor of American literature at Portland State and soon-to-be doctoral student at Stanford.
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Book description
Priceless F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts stolen in a daring heist; a young woman recruited to recover them; a beach-resort bookseller who gets more than he bargained for—all in one long summer on Camino Island.

AR Level 6.1; AR Points 14.
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