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Portobello by Ruth Rendell
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Portobello (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Ruth Rendell

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4573522,782 (3.35)27
Member:ElizaJane
Title:Portobello
Authors:Ruth Rendell
Info:Doubleday Canada (2008), Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:mystery, british author, arc, randomhouse direct

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Portobello by Ruth Rendell (2008)

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Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
I'm a huge fan of Ms. Rendell and hate writing anything critical of her work, but I was disappointed in Portobello.

As always, I was drawn into her cast of characters, from the quirky to the disturbed. She's a master at weaving the threads of disparate lives to an inevitable conclusion. Because of her brilliant characters that popped off the page and planted themselves in my mind, I gave this book three stars. I enjoyed the ride.

However, the ending was weak and left me unsatisfied. One story line that had lured me in with hints of a dark outcome fell flat without anything happening. The other threads were too tidy in their conclusions and all conflicts were resolved too quickly. The sense of "happily ever after" made this novel veer toward a fairy tale.

If you've never read one of her novels, don't start here, but definitely give the rest of her work a try. You won't be disappointed. ( )
  CathrynGrant | Nov 20, 2014 |
I was fine with apparent strangers being connected to each other until the doctor's patient turns out to be the lover of the man who tried to convince the doctor's fiance that he (the patient's lover) was the owner of the money found by the fiance, even though the rightful owner was the son of a man to whom the fiance had sold a painting. There are other connections as well. The description of a secret chocorange addiction with the resulting guilt and shame was well done. Only one character seems to actually change and grow (Lance, who comes to realize that he can't trust everyone), the lives of the others follow their natural course. SPOILER: The book has no loose ends and justice seems to be done. ( )
  raizel | Nov 6, 2014 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (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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