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Portobello by Ruth Rendell

Portobello (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Ruth Rendell

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4613322,528 (3.34)27
Authors:Ruth Rendell
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Tags:mystery, british author, arc, randomhouse direct

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Portobello by Ruth Rendell (2008)

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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Was not too impresssed with this, but will try another Ruth Rendell to discover why she is popular. There is no mystery - Joel Roseman has a heart attack in the street and loses some money which is found by Eugene Wren, a highly addictive personality, who is wealthy and at age 50 is finally engaged to be married. When Eugene advertises his find, Lance Platt a ne'er do well tries to claim the money is his. Eugene becomes addicted to chocorange lozenges, Lance commits a burglary next door to Eugene's, Lance's girlfriend's friends burn down his uncle's house and Lance is charged. ( )
  CarterPJ | May 14, 2014 |
Joel Roseman has a heart attack in the street and loses some money which is found by Eugene Wren. When Eugene advertises his find, Lance Platt tries to claim the money is his. The story follows the consequences for the three men and their friends and relatives.

Ruth Rendell screws maximum tension out of everyday scenes and actions which I read with mounting dread, though not everything I feared occurred. Excellent ( )
  Robertgreaves | Nov 15, 2012 |
I feel like this was an idea book. That after decades of writing novels in which people with psychological issues commit crimes, Rendell thought one day about how many people with bizarre psychological issues never go on to commit crimes, and how most crimes are probably committed by really comparatively ordinary people. And she thought about how people are so interconnected sometimes, in unexpected ways. And so she set this situation up, some people with issues who nevertheless, are leading fairly normal lives, and some people who seem saner, yet who end up in inexplicable situations - and she tied them all together, in ways that we can see as the outside observers, but which they themselves cannot. I don't know that this book is the edge-of-your-seat thriller you may be expecting from Rendell. But it's a brilliant experiment.

There's a fictitious painting described in the book, Undine in a Goldfish Bowl - a painting so well described that I thought it was real until a Google Image search told me the sad truth. The painting seems to sum up the book very neatly - a mermaid, trapped in a goldfish bowl, struggling to breathe air and get out - as if she, like some of the people in the book, is more afraid of her own potential weakness than she is cognizant of her ability to breathe underwater. As if she is trapped in the bowl for our viewing pleasure. Like a cast of characters, perhaps. ( )
  AnnieHidalgo | Oct 23, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was a disappointment. The plot was weak and left me wondering what the point of the story was. The book did not capture my attention, and I felt no connection to any of the characters. This was the first book of Rendell's that I've read, and it did not inspire me to read any other works by the author. ( )
  markusnenadovus | Jun 18, 2012 |
PW: London's Portobello Road, a street fabled for its shops and outdoor market, provides the backdrop for Edgar-winner Rendell's superlative suspense novel, which features a cast of colorful characters from varied classes and walks of life. Secretive 50-year-old Eugene Wren, who's addicted to cheap candy lozenges, is toying with marrying his longtime girlfriend, physician Ella Cotswold. Rootless Lance Platt cases the neighborhood for costly homes he can break into, and clashes with his great-uncle, Gilbert Gibson, a former burglar who now preaches the gospel. One man's losing 115 pounds triggers a series of coincidences that brings this disparate lot closer together, toward haphazard violence and death. Rendell (The Water's Lovely) is particularly adept at portraying young people just a dole check away from homelessness as well as the carelessness and callousness of the book's upper-middle-class characters. Her style has become ever more spare while retaining its subtle psychology and vivid sense of place.

I agree about sense of place, but found the novel lacking any real coherence. I got very tired of Eugene's candy addiction -- which seemed silly -- and never quite managed to connect with any of the characters. A Rendell disappointment.

Read 11/10 ( )
  walkerff | Feb 9, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
sfeervol met suspenseAlweer een geweldig boek van Ruth Rendell, naast een prachtig beeld van de Londense wijk Portobello heeft ze een geweldig portret geschreven van een aantal mensen wier levens verstrikt raken.Het is nauwelijks een misdaadroman, al komen er wel moorden in voor. Het zijn vooral prachtige beschrijving van eenzame, obsessieve mensen in het moderne Londen. Bovendien weet ze weer alle touwtje op een geweldige manier aan elkaar te knopen zodat je wil blijven doorlezen.
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For Doreen and Lee Massey with love
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It is called the Portobello Road because a very long time ago a sea captain called Robert Jenkins stood in front of a committee of the House of Commons and held up his amputated ear.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Walking to the shops one day in London's Notting Hill, fifty-year-old Eugene Wren discovers an envelope on the street bulging with cash. A man plagued by a shameful addiction, Wren hatches a plan to find the money's rightful owner. Instead of going to the police, or taking the cash for himself, he prints a notice and posts it around Portobello Road. This ill-conceived act creates a chain of events that links Wren to other Londoners--people afflicted with their own obsessions and despairs. As these volatile characters come into Wren's life--and the life of his trusting fiancée--the consequences will change them all.… (more)

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