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Bob Stevenson by Richard Wiley

Bob Stevenson

by Richard Wiley

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2412667,116 (3.12)1



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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I'm approaching my 300th book of the year (It's Sept.) and I bet I haven't given a dozen books five stars. But Bob Stevenson deserves it. Heck, I'd probably give it five stars for Gerard alone, who has to be the cutest, most genuine character I've read in a while. He was a true pleasure to read and I adored the way people accepted him into their lives and loved him too.

But the rest of the characters were of interest as well. Ruby, who finds herself in a baffling and embarrassing situation. Archie/Bob who is fighting his own demons. Dr. Utterson and Bette, who provide the necessary sidekicks, along with Dad and the nun. All engaging in their own way. Granted, you never get to know them deeply, but they fulfill their role succinctly.

The writing is marvelous. I laughed repeatedly at the dry humor. The fact that you're never wholly sure where the surreal stops and the actual paranormal might pick up kept me biting my nails. Lastly, I was thrilled to see non-white main characters and people successfully functioning with disabilities. All in all, a real winner for me. ( )
  SadieSForsythe | Jan 15, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I had high hopes coming into this book and ended up being sadly disappointed. The book starts off when the two main characters met, which is the most exciting part of the whole book, and then just skips to months later when she's pregnant with his baby. We never find out what happened during that time which I felt hindered the book greatly. I couldn't connect with any of the characters. This book had a good idea and just didn't follow through. ( )
  becca_telese | Nov 8, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review...
It took 40 days to finish this book. I just couldn't connect with the characters, the premise was different but left nowhere for the story to go. I am thankful I have turned the last page. ( )
  Bettesbooks | Oct 20, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
What an interesting read. A woman who considers herself to be mentally fit falls in love with a man who is charming and attentive to her, and then learns the man is considered dangerously mentally ill. That sounds very heavy but this is actually a very playful book. It's not disrespectful of mental illness--but it just allows this relationship to happen. The feelings I had while reading the novel ranged from amused to discomfited. Each scene feels nearly-normal in action and tone and scene, and yet, as you get deeper into the scene, you realize it really is not normal at all. What people say is slightly off. What they observe is random and not pertinent to the story. What is reported by the writer/narrator/pov character is always a little off, not square but skewed somehow. In terms of the reading experience it reminds me most of Jane Bowles but it is really quite unique. I'm very glad to have read it. ( )
  poingu | Oct 18, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review... so here it is. I've not yet finished it. But as it came out today I thought I should say something about it. I've only read about 20 pages, it's a short book, yet those few pages seemingly took hours to read. Now normally I like to give a book a chance and don't allow myself to give up until after 50 pages, but every time I think about going back to this book I shudder.
First off, there is hardly any backstory, things are just happening. Of course these may be visited later but I'm just not willing to go through all these pages for that. Another thing, the big thing, was the voices. I hated it. The characters don't talk like people. It's all so programmed. It's like the author was trying to make every interaction profound and it just wasn't.
I wanted to like this book. I was so happy when I got a copy, but I truly cannot finish it right now, if ever. So I have to give it a 1. Maybe, hopefully, it get's better; after all I'm seeing 4 and 5 star reviews. But for what I read I just cannot justify giving it the benefit of the doubt and going with a middle rating, and I'm pretty lenient about these things usually. It just wasn't captivating and if I were to have met Ruby in real life, I'd probably want to hit her every time she opened her mouth, or any time she had a thought for that matter. She was just so annoying. The 23 pages I read were just. so. annoying. ( )
  owill | Oct 11, 2016 |
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"A witty, roller-coaster ride of uncertain identity set against the gritty certainties of New York City. In compelling, unadorned prose, Richard Wiley gives us a bewitching and ultimately moving tale." --Caryl Phillips, author ofA Distant Shore andThe Lost Child Dr. Ruby Okada meets a charming man with a Scottish accent in the elevator of her psychiatric hospital. Unaware that he is an escaping patient, she falls under his spell, and her life and his are changed forever by the time they get to the street. Who is the mysterious man? Is he Archie B. Billingsly, suffering from dissociative identity disorder and subject to brilliant flights of fancy and bizarre, violent fits? Or is he the reincarnation of Robert Louis Stevenson, back to haunt New York as Long John Silver and Mr. Edward Hyde? Her career compromised, Ruby soon learns that her future and that of her unborn child depend on finding the key to his identity. With compelling psychological descriptions and terrifying, ineffable transformations,Bob Stevenson is an ingenious tale featuring a quirky cast of characters drawn together by mutual fascination, need, and finally, love. Richard Wiley is the author of eight novels includingSoldiers in Hiding, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, andAhmed's Revenge, winner of the Maria Thomas Fiction Award. Professor emeritus at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he divides his time between Los Angeles, California and Tacoma, Washington.… (more)

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