Last week I finished reading Dragonfly by John Farris, but I didn’t have time to write a review until now.
On the front cover of the book Stephen King is quoted to have said that nobody writes horror better than John Farris. A blurb like this gives the reader high expectations, so I was a little disappointed to discover that the book isn’t even horror. If I had a point system for rating books, points would definitely be taken off for that bit of misleading information alone. So let me begin by saying that despite what you may have been told elsewhere Dragonfly is not a horror story, it is a mystery romance.
Now that has been clarified, let’s move on.
The opening scene grabbed my attention and the following scenes kept me interested. The story and characters are well defined. The author’s style of writing is readable; I felt comfortable and could easily become absorbed in what was happening, which I feel is important. I liked the characters and felt attached to them in some ways, so I was eager to learn what the future held for them.
My only real grievance with this book was that I felt it was much longer than necessary. To me, this means that the “middle” lacked something. Actually, it was the last quarter of the book that could have been condensed, in my opinion. I got to the stage where I went passed caring and eventually just wanted the book to end. There’s a difference between putting your characters through the wringer and just not knowing when to stop. What I think happened was that the author had so many threads to tie up that it took a lot longer than he planned to provide the necessary resolutions, which spoiled the book.
Despite that, the book was enjoyable and I would try reading something else written by the author.