I am delighted to be rounding off the blog tour of Chris Pavone.
I was contacted as while ago by the publishers to see if I’d like to read a copy of the third novel by Chris Pavone. Despite this not being my usual read, as I’m not normally a big fan of spy thrillers, I thought I’d give The Travelers a go in the interest of trying new authors.
Our main protagonist Will works for a magazine called the Travelers. This is a magazine with a worldwide chain of travel agents attached. Will acts as one of their main foreign correspondents, travelling the world, sampling wine and food and writing about it. He is married to Chloe, they are trying for a baby, and renovating a house together. Seemingly his life is going well. Until a chance encounter with a flirtatious women in France suddenly changes his life completely forcing him to start questioning everything. It soon becomes clear that not only does Will have secrets, so does his wife, the boss at the magazine and pretty much every character that enters the story.
This was a really fast paced novel that spanned the world. There was a lot of description of the varying cities which personally I enjoy and it added to the sense of travel and espionage. It is quite a long book, and in the middle I did feel it was a little hard work but I’m glad I persevered. All the chapters are very short, which is good in that it suits my reading style of grabbing minutes here and there. It does mean though that it can sometimes get a bit confusing as the chapters flip between cities and people. Add to this the large number of characters and locations and I found myself going backwards and forwards a bit to try and keep up. That’s probably more my poor concentration though rather than a problem with the story.
The characters themselves were all equally likable and unlikable. Just when you thought you got a handle on which characters were good and which were bad the scenery changes and your perspective flicks. This gave the story a real roller coaster feel. I liked the fact that although the characters were rounded enough to be believable there wasn’t loads of backstory which can sometimes drag a story out.
Although this isn’t my usual type of book (and has been compared to James Bond which I’ve not only never read, I have never watched a film either) I did thoroughly enjoy it and will look out for his other novels.
For further information about the author visit Liz loves books for a q and a with Chris Pavone
As an avid reader who travels by trains a lot the purchase of a kindle was obviously a no-brainer (especially thanks to a generous donation by my Gran!) The idea of being able to have thousands of books all on something the size of an average paperback is to me pretty amazing.
I should say at this point that I am not a gadget person. I don’t get excited by new phones, or flashy IPads, and my perfectly functional computer is about 10 years old. Gadgets to me are similar to assembling flat pack furniture, something I leave to my sister. However the kindle is a different matter. It doesn’t flash, sing or dance, it looks like a book, acts like a book, in fact it is just a book but better.
Now don’t get me wrong, they are not perfect. For a start it is way too easy to buy books on them. All you have to do is click a few buttons and you have the whole of Amazon at your fingertips – for someone like me who has a real fear of running out of things to read this is dangerous. (I wander if there is a term for that, nobookaphobia maybe?)
I still love real books, and personally despite predictions I don’t think the printed word will ever be completely taken over by kindle. At home I would still rather read a real book. I love browsing in bookshops, and can easily spend hours wandering round Waterstones. There is something satisfying about seeing a row of books lined up waiting to be picked that will never be replaced by a simple list in a kindle. At home I have shelves of books in my house and am always slightly disappointed that when I read a book on a kindle it won’t get added to those shelves.
You can’t share Kindle books with others either. I enjoy swopping books with friends, if I’ve really enjoyed a book I like to be able to pass it on to someone else and say read this. Telling someone that you’ve just read a great book on a kindle is not the same. I think people are less likely to read a book if they have to write down the title, look it up on amazon and then buy it themselves. Many a time I’ve been given books by someone that I would never in a million years have actually bought myself, no matter how good someone told me it was. The Twilight books are a good example, I was given the first one by a friend so I read and really enjoyed it. I didn’t think I would though so if she hadn’t put that physical copy in my hand I would probably have never actually read it.
Another thing that is a shame with a kindle is that you have no idea what other people are reading. On a train or in a bar I think its interesting to see what people are reading and I think there is no better advertising than having your book read by a load of people sat on a train. Of course the fact that no one knows what you are reading can be a good thing sometimes. As an event organiser I spend a large amount of my time out of the office, so with a kindle in my hand I could be reading important work related documents. Then again…