Book Review: Shadows


Shadows by John Saul

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first audio book I’ve listened to. I thought I would have problems with my mind wandering, but the story was so intriguing that I found myself completely absorbed with what was happening.

In short, the story is about a school for genius children. It confronts the many problems these children experience on a daily basis, in normal life such as isolation, teasing, boredom, lack of friendship and suicide tendencies. Then it moves into life at the new school and shows the feeling of normalcy and acceptance. But the school isn’t everything it portrays and that’s when things turn quite sinister in parts.

Unfortunately, because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone else, I can’t go into any details. There was, however, one section about suicide that actually made me quite angry. It was obvious to me, a person who has lost a son to suicide, that the author hasn’t experienced suicide and this fact showed in his writing. Yet, running parallel to this was some interesting thoughts that I actually agreed with too. One moment I felt a fire in my belly that wanted to put an end to the words I was reading because they embraced everything that fed the stigma that has been around for decades, and then the words changed and I found myself nodding in agreement. It was a roll coaster that swung back and forth. All I can say is that I was glad when the story changed direction and the topic of suicide was over.

Then the story moved into another interesting topic. I can’t tell you what it is as it would spoil the book, if you intend to read it. However, although I find the topic interesting, I am not emotionally attached to it so things were “sweet” from this point on…if not quite disturbing, in other ways.

I do not know if the technical stuff was correct or not. All I can say is that it sounded convincing and when reading a story that is all I care about. As the story ran swiftly to the climax, I found myself eager to find out how the author would tie the pieces together and what would have to a couple of the “characters”.

The end was satisfactory. I was pleased that the author didn’t elect to go in another direction, which I had feared might happen at one stage.

For my first audio experience I think I had the right book. I enjoyed it a lot and will definitely try something else by the author…and I’d also listen to another audio book too.

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