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Play Dead (1993)

Play Dead (1993)

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3.7 of 5 Votes: 3
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1561711543 (ISBN13: 9781561711543)
s.p.i. books

About book Play Dead (1993)

Possibly one of the worst books I've read in the past 50 years. Mostly my fault because (A) I didn't read the author's disclaimer at the front of the book, (B) I didn't look at the original copyright date until I was more than half way through, and (C) by the time I realized my mistake, I wanted to finish it for no good reason. (Even before this, it was easy to solve most of the "mysteries" ... and there were many of them.)I have read many of Coben's more recent works and enjoyed them quite a bit. Picked this up at a yard sale and just assumed it was a relatively new one. It wasn't long before I realized that the style was bad but, relying on previous experience with him, I assumed it would improve. Although most of the plot takes place in the 1980s, with flashbacks to 1960, I thought that towards the end it would catch up to the 21st century. I then came to Goodreads, read some of the customer reviews, and discovered the copyright date, the disclaimer, and the revelation that this was Coben's first book, written when he was in his twenties.Oh, the writing! The terrible, clichéd, painful writing! Just a random sampling: "You are going to help me with this because once you do, our secret and our fates will be eternally sealed together. Neither one of us will be able to reveal the other's sin without condemning themselves as well.""Finding a [parking] spot near Gloria's apartment was like finding a black man at a KKK rally. Not easy."Open to any page and you can find at least one sentence equally horrible. To add insult to injury, even had it been better written, the book was twice as long as it needed to be. It seemed interminable and I'm so relieved to be finished.But ... I can attest to the fact that Harlan Coben got much better with practice. His newer books are more succinct, with humour and greatly improved writing style. What angers me is that his publisher decided to cash in on Coben's current fame by publishing this drivel more than 20 years after it was written. That's just greed. More of a shame is that if this is the first Coben novel a discriminating reader picks up, it's guaranteed to deter him from reading another. (Unless he finds that disclaimer that I unfortunately missed.)

This is the first of two novels Coben has recently re-published from the early 90’s: this one and “Miracle Cure”. While he somewhat disavowed the quality of these early novels in a similar foreword to each, we found “Dead” a somewhat acceptable thriller, with an extremely complicated plot. Like “Cure”, it features a professional basketball player in the story, perhaps the precursor to the Myron Bolitar character in that successful Coben series…When ex-supermodel Laura and pro hoops star David elope to Australia to get married, he dies in a drowning incident while she’s off conducting a little business. Or did he, as the novel’s title leaves us to wonder? Or was he really murdered? If we have a complaint about this tale, it’s that we readers are in the dark for a long time about the several inter-personal mysteries posed by the helper friend-cop “TC”, the mother (Mary), the father (James), the aunt (Judy), the best girlfriend Serita, the ne’er-do-well brother Stan, the glamorous but odd sister Gloria, etc. etc. That it took over 550 pages to sort all this out is almost no wonder, trying our patience in the process! We suspect that with this first effort Coben was anxious to display talents at crafting an intriguing, multi-layered plot; and indeed, while he has generated a modicum of suspense, we felt strung-out for a long time ere events culminate. Like the author himself opined, fans won’t want to skip this, but newcomers to Coben might better start elsewhere.

Do You like book Play Dead (1993)?

When the author himself writes a prologue asking you to please not read the book and apologizing in advance for it being completely idiotic, you know something's wrong. After that prologye, i had to read it of course. How bad could it be? Well, pretty bad and ludicrous in fact, but also fun and with a good energy to it. Harlan Coben was right to warn people away. The plot is idiotic, the characters laughable. If i have to read one more time that the heroine is breathtakingly beautiful, i'll puke. And the hero's decision to fake his own death as a better solutiom to leaving his wife so as to not break her heart - what???? How is pretending to die and assuming a new identity better than just leaving someone? And then coming back to do the same job with the same team and no one suspecing anything - c'mon really. I have to give props to the author for having the creativity to come up with the ludicrous plot and the guts to actuall publsh it under his own name. The plot moves long pretty fast which made it more enjoyable and the author shows promise. I'm going to check out his later books and see how much he's improved.

Play Dead is Harlan Coben's first published novel. It has been rereleased this year. There is a letter from the author warning readers that if this is your first experience to reading one of his books he suggests that they stop reading, go and get another of his books and then come back to this one. I had to laugh because this book is my first by Mr. Coben and I couldn't read a different one because this was December's book club choice. So, I went into reading this book with an open mind.I can completely see how Harlan Coben has been able to keep readers spellbound and why he has such a following. The story he weaves is one that makes readers try to figure out what the hell is going on. He gives the reader just enough information to keep them hanging on to find out what next little secret he is going to reveal. Now having said all that, I can see why he was apologizing to his fans and telling new readers not to start with this book. It is painfully obvious to me that this is an inexperienced author. The story is rich with its twists and turns, but it is executed poorly. The book was 500+ pages and could have been told in 300 and I would have been satisfied. Often times the clues where all too stingily delivered to have them pounded into the ground over and over by different character view points. I found Play Dead to be an entertaining read. But I thought the two main characters were slightly superficial and the book a little too long. Other than that, I felt that Harlan Coben has great potential and wouldn't be averse to trying something else by him.
—Jill Dunlop

Bu aralar cin ali okusam çok güzel kitaptı ya, diyecek havada olduğum için dört puan verdim, sanırım. İkinci Harlan, kitabımdı. Orman'a göre temposu düşüktü; ama başka kitaplarla kıyaslarsak temposu düşük sayılır mı: hayır. Harlan, okumak istiyorsanız Harlan'a göre bu kitabından başlamamalıymışsınız kitabın başında da okuyacağım ilk kitabınızsa başka alın diye bir uyarı var, çünkü yazarın yazdığı ilk kitabı. Bence ilk kitabı olmasına rağmen Orman'dan daha iyiydi(Orman'a sırf o aptal son, yüzünden üç puan vermiştim). Uyarıya takılmadan alıp okuyabilirsiniz....

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