Book Review of Blue Eyed Boy Joanne Harris

Reviews > Blueeyedboy

by Joanne Harris 

Lynn Matheson‘s review 

Jun 30, 14  ·  edit

5 of 5 stars

bookshelves: thrillers 

Read from June 15 to 28, 2014

I loved this book. It is a dark, psychological thriller. We see inside the mind of Blue Eyed Boy, the online name of Ben, who still lives with his mother in middle age. Through a series of web journals we come to realise how he has turned out like this as he describes his childhood and dysfunctional relationship with his mother. The journal entries become increasingly disturbing as we learn what Ben is doing with his time and we begin to suspect he is an unreliable narrator. The plot twists unexpectedly and then twists again. Even at the end the reader may feel not quite certain about what has occurred. I loved the description of the stultifying little town where the action takes place where ever body knows everybody’s business and the poisonous women love to spread malicious gossip. The endless layers of snobbery are laid bare. Ben suffers from synethasia and this gives Joanne Harris’ writing style an added richness. This is a gripping and disturbing read.


Book Review of Wool Hugh Howey

Everybody seems to love this book – it’s got five stars ago-go. I wanted to read it because it’s one of the few self-publishing success stories. I enjoyed it but I didn’t love it. As usual, I feel the fault must lie within me. Science fiction isn’t my favourite genre but when I find a good one I really adore it. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is one of my favourite books of all time. Howey describes a futuristic world where people live in a silo and never venture outside because the atmosphere is poisoned from some unspecified disaster in the past. The silo appears to be modelled on a huge grain silo except much bigger with many levels going deep into the earth. The “down deep” is where the engineers toil to keep the machines turning. There is also an agricultural level where hydroponic farms grow food. Higher up there is an IT level and an admin level. The society is strictly socially stratified like Brave New World. The world is authoritarian and controlled so there are shades of Orwell’s 1984. Transgressing individuals are put to death by cleaning. They are sent outside in space suits with just enough air to clean the windows/ monitors/ cameras which give a view of the outside. The world is evoked in detail and the writing style is simple and elegant. Perhaps for me the scenarios were too similar to other books in the genre. The hero, standard modern issue strong feisty female, Juliette, embarks on a series of actions which change the world forever. The plot is exciting and fast-paced at times and at other times it is slow. The book is quite a door stopper so you need patience and time to finish it. I am sure sci-fi fans will lap this up but it doesn’t quite make the cut to classic status