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Monday, April 11, 2011

I Can't Lie About this Book

COMPANY OF LIARS by Karen Maitland

I will first say that three of my co-workers at the bookstore read this book and really did like it...but I didn't.  It's a bit like Canterbury Tales by Geoffery Chaucer; a group of people eventually gather together as they encounter each other on the desolate roads through plague-country.  None of them tell the truth about who they really are or for what purpose they are traveling other than to escape the plague.

There's some fairly gross icky things that happen along the way.  It didn't bother me in Mistress of the Art of Death, but for some reason it really bothered me in this book.  Maybe it was because in this book it seems the story is just one icky situation, then trudging, then another icky occurrence.  I don't know.  I also figured out the truth of some of the characters including the character telling the story much sooner than it was revealed.  So, rather than the suspense building for me, I became impatient waiting for the reveal.  This book also had an element of the supernatural.  I thought things would be explained, but in the end your left with the fact that, well, it was spirits and ghosts and witches.  I was disappointed with the answer to the mystery.  I think it's more interesting to see how someone fooled or haunted others than to just say, it was a real ghost, it wasn't a person, when the entire focus in on the people.

I could never write a book as good as Company of Liars so it is very hard for me to write this review, but it just wasn't a book for me.  I wondered what others thought, so I checked out ratings on some website to see if I was way off in my opinion.  It seems people either really enjoy like my co-workers or really don't enjoy  it, like me.  It may be a book for you if you enjoy reading about that time-period (I feel Ms. Maitland gives an accurate view of that time) or you like books with a supernatural aspect to them.

(The picture is of the hard cover; it just came out in paperback with a different cover.)


  1. Ok, I have to say I loved this book! Maitland can really put you in the time, place, and misery of her characters. Yes, the ending was a bit contrived, and yes, it was pretty easy to figure out who the main character really was. But I throughly enjoyed the story--I think I have a thing for books about the plague in England.

  2. Thanks for posting that. I felt bad not giving a glowig review, but I knew there were people who did like it and I was hoping someone would share what they liked about it!