I grabbed this from the New books section from the library and then was stuck with it on a flight Upon my return and 200 pages in I was bored and wished I could abandon it but felt obligated at that point to just keep reading I don t mind long books but at 594 pages I do expect it to be decent reading Its current score onis 4.
0 stars so apparently someone liked it The whole mystery noir isn t my typical reading genre so maybe that was its first strike but the story was so convoluted I just couldn t get into it Maybe that s why people liked itthey found genius in the complex, intricate story where I just saw fumbling and words for the sake of words A 2 star review from Gail Dohrmann wrote, Six hundred pages of plot machinations with every device used in popular fiction mistaken identity, disguises, overnight romance, fascination with wealth and money as inherently good, plot mi This novel got steadily better as I read it it s shaped like a Klein bottle The first section, which takes place in London in 1910, is worth three stars A journalist is hired by a mysterious wealthy widow to help resolve the will of her husband, John Stone, who died by falling out a window The will gives a bequest to an unnamed child of Stone s, who must be found before the estate can be settled The view into Stone s business empire he owned numerous companies involved in the manufacture of arms and ships is interesting, but the journalist character is a bit thin.
The second section picked up considerably for a fourth star Here we move backwards in time to Paris in the 1890s, and another young man who works as a kind of freelance proto spy for Britain More is revealed about Stone a His London Home, John Stone Falls Out Of A Window To His Death A Financier And Arms Dealer, Stone Was A Man So Wealthy That He Was Able To Manipulate Markets, Industries, And Indeed Entire Countries And Continents Did He Jump, Was He Pushed, Or Was It Merely A Tragic Accident His Alluring And Enigmatic Widow Hires A Young Crime Reporter To Investigate The Story Moves Backward In Time From London InTo Paris InAnd Ä Stone's Fall ñ Download by Ä Iain Pears Finally To Venice InAnd The Attempts To Uncover The Truth Play Out Against The Backdrop Of The Evolution Of High Stakes International Finance, Europe S First Great Age Of Espionage, And The Start Of The Twentieth Century S Arms Race Stone S Fall Is A Tale Of Love And Frailty, As Much As It Is Of High Finance And Skulduggery The Mixture, Then, As Now, Is An Often Fatal Combination This is a very long novel I d guess nearly 300,000 words , and as the official blurb says, it is ingenious and intricately plotted But I think it could have been just as ingenious and intricate at about half the length I was hoping it would be as good as An Instance of the Fingerpost, but I was disappointed Like that one, it is divided into sections, each with a different narrator but in this case, the narrators all sound pretty much alike, and none of them is particularly engaging In fact, there are no characters with which I could either sympathize or identify Everything seems cold and calculated Central to the book is a mysterious and alluring woman, but anyone who has read My Cousin Rachel will have seen mysterious and alluring done muchconvincingly Writing the novel backwards with each section narrating events that occurred before what we The central question is simple How and why did the wealthy and powerful industrialist John Stone come to fall to his death from the window of his London home The answer is anything but.
First there is a prologue, set in Paris in 1953 Two men meet after a funeral It is short and simple but it sets the tone beautifully and provides a firm basis that will hold together what is to come.
And then the story travels back in time to London in 1909, to Paris in 1890 and finally to Venice in 1967 In 1909 John Stone is dead, in 1890 he features in another man s story, and in 1867 he tells his own story Three engaging and distinctive narrators.
Stories told backwards rarely work for me, but this one did The plotting is so well executed, with all of the twists and turns rooted in the history of the characters What wonderful characters Wonderfully observed and utterly intriguing Settings too, vivid Solid four star read Really and truly.
I hesitate to use the word Dickensian because I was never a Dickens fan, but that s the word that comes to mind for me and I do mean it in a positive way A long, twisty narrative full of larger than life characters who are intertwined in all sorts of unexpected ways I can only compare it to Dickens But where Dickens wrote like he was paid by the word, this book though arguably too long never felt tedious Or usually didn t, anyway I wasn t always engaged by the financial and business aspects of the storyline though I did appreciate their appeal for someonefascinated by that stuff than this reader , but that didn t stop me from eagerly devouring all 600 odd pages I found myself fascinated by the characters and plot twists despite my needing to suspend disbelief at time Ö Stone's Fall Ö 4.
5 stars I really enjoyed this book, my first by Iain Pears I love his humor, and that he writes with depth Don t plan to fly through this one It takes patience and I found myself having to reread parts, or just wanting to reread to get a better flavor for the story, or to laugh again at a funny line I love the way the author decided to tell this story He starts in the present after a mysterious death has occurred, and then part two goes back in time after a change in narrator Part three goes back even further, after yet another change in the narration It was a little confusing at times, but I trusted my pilot at that point, and held on to my armrests and kept going forward It was a little odd, wantin
Goddammit, this is twice now that Iain Pears has done this to me I get maybe a quarter to a third of the way into his book and start thinking This is ok, but I m starting to lose interest I m not sure if I want to read muchof this story But then it turns out the story isn t what you think it is And it isn t just some cheap twist either, butthat the characters, just like the reader, simply don t have the total picture and make assumptions, mistakes, interpretations that the next section of the book then proceeds to dismantle, all while managing to tell one overarching story He also pulls off these direction changes without rendering previous sections irrelevant exactly the opposite in fact It s like each part of the book is like a puzzle that you piece together, and then when you finish i The central question in Stone s Fall is fairly simple How and why did the powerful and extremely wealthy industrialist John Stone fall to his death from an opened window of his London home To find the answer to that question, the intriguing but rather slow moving story is told by three different narrators in three separate parts, London 1909, Paris 1890 and Venice 1869, and travels back in time to tell the story backwards, a narrative method I found particularly rewarding The three narrators, that perhaps could be a littledistinctive are all in some way involved in a plot meticulously constructed and executed There is quite a few parallel stories to follow Global industrial and political intrigue, European financial power struggles, mysterious investigations, several romantic dalli