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Take No Farewell (1992)

Take No Farewell (1992)

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3.94 of 5 Votes: 1
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0552135623 (ISBN13: 9780552135627)

About book Take No Farewell (1992)

How can any hero be so utterly incompetent? I was getting so angry with the seeming stupidity of this man - Geoffrey Staddon. A qualified Architect and so supposedly a clever man but how could he not see the mess he was creating and the path he was walking down? I could see it clearly and I was just reading the story? I guess if you stumble along long enough you will find the answer you want in the end and so it is with Mr Staddon. He was led all along by his selfish desire for fame in the architecture world but was also led by his trousers and the lovely Consuela and by not standing by his affair he destroyed everything. But the other characters in this tale had far worse secrets and had set in motion far worse plans that needed Consuela to die for their success. Our bumbling idiot is the one to undo their plans and so he has to be stopped.I was getting a tad bored with this tale as Geoffrey stumbled on yet another goose chase while Consuela sits waiting to be hung and becoming nauseated with the excess of the upper classes and their frequent trips to Cap Ferrat. But, when Goddard starts to pick up the pace of the story and starts to bring the tales together these books become compulsive and fascinating. One problem with this one though, the final plot twist which hits you hard and suddenly just cannot happen using the story telling mode Goddard employs.Unless I have assumed that the end is the way the last few lines lead me to believe. A long and often tiring story but absolutely first class.

I really enjoyed reading Goddard's "Beyond Recall" and "Into the Blue". Encouraged by experience combined with good reviews and promising abstract I decided to go for "Take No Farewell". Without going into details (no spoilers!): the protagonist is a person with shallow personality, absolutely no self-esteem and his docility is just pathetic. He has basically no influence on the plot - he's more of a tool in hands of others rather than an independently thinking human being. Unfortunately, the main plot doesn't help - the very long story is ridiculous (and it's not meant to be fantasy) and at the same time boring. Remaining characters are very peculiar and their development surprisingly predictable. Perfect script of Venezuelan telenovela. Lack of happy end brings some relief, however, to my taste Goddard took it to another (disappointing) extreme.I do not recommend it.

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This is not the best Robert Goddard book I've read - it was quite disappointing in a way...I didn't warm to the central character and that is something I have done in all his other books. His main person is always male, often a bit shady or a bit casual in some regard, and what happens allows him some element of redemption. I didn't care for Geoffrey Staddon much at all, I despised the way he'd behaved and yet felt curiously let down by the end of the book. It seemed like a cop out to me...I gave it 3 stars because it was a complex, twisting story, places I've not visited were described so you might think in the end you'd been there yourself and his characters do come off the pages...I've just been spoilt by others of his books

Main character plodding along in life? Check. Events in the past coming back to haunt him? Check. Flashbacks to weave said events into narrative? Check. Everything not as it seems? Check. Scenes in italics when a journal is being read? Check. Exquisite use of language? Check. Yep, it's another Robert Goddard mystery/thriller/historical fiction novel.Goddard's grasp and use of English is a joy to behold; broad enough so that the odd word makes you think, but without ever showing off to the extent that the reader needs a dictionary to hand (no problem anyway if you're lucky enough to own a Kindle!). Take No Farewell is a fairly long book, but Goddard's flowing style and excellent story telling ensures that it never drags.I rarely give a 5 star rating, and nearly knocked it down to 4 due to an issue with the main character, Geoffrey Staddon. As an architect who has designed and built a number of impressive buildings, I would expect him to be a clever chap. However, at times he proved gullible beyond belief. This was obviously required to make the plot work and I suppose Goddard would say it's part of his character, but it seemed a bit convenient. However, in the end I rated the book on my overall experience of it which was first rate.
—Joe Stamber

A Goddard novel is always a great way to start a vacation, that is if you are done with everything Agatha Christie ever wrote. This is another typical example of a Goddard-paced plot, with all the expected twists, the wronged femme fatale and of course the hot-headed protagonist who manages to prolong the action by losing his temper just when someone is about the reveal to him what he needs to know, leaving him to muse "if only I had known then, what I know now." The end is disappointingly slow and drawn out.

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