Monday 8 September 2014

Review - Double Fault by Lionel Shriver

Double Fault (Five Star Paperback)Double Fault by Lionel Shriver
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Publisher - Serpent's Tail

Pages - 339

Blurb from Goodreads

Ever since she picked up a racquet at the age of four, tennis has been Willy Novinsky's one love. But when she falls for fellow pro Eric Oberdorf, their relationship is tested to breaking point by their competitive urges.

My Review

Tennis is not something I am interested in at all however when on holiday we do pick up something we normally wouldn't read. Willy Novinsky is on a journey to becoming a professional tennis player, her ranking score is going up, she is smashing her competition and winning her matches. She has no time for friends, romance or really anything that isn't tennis, until Eric Oberdorf comes along. They embark on a relationship and she teaches him some pointers to strengthen his game. As their relationship deepens, Willy finds herself struggling with her game and watching Eric go from strength to strength. Tennis brought them together, it may very well tear them apart.

It has been a while since I have really disliked a character as much as I ended up disliking Willy. As her game declines she becomes a vindictive, nasty, horrible character, Eric is understanding, sweet, competitive and no matter what he does it further enrages or prompts her to behave like a brat.

Without going into spoilers as I hate that, sex and sexual terminology is used and the subject of abortion is mentioned, in what some people may feel, distressing detail. I found Willy to be a cold fish, a character with little to no redeeming qualities. As much as tennis is not my thing, I must say I wasn't as bored as I thought I would be reading this type of theme. I have read Shriver before and I would read her again, I don't particularly like her style however I cannot put her books down until I have got through the whole story. There is something about how she writes that pulls you along and in, even when you don't like or find the subject content particularly interesting. 2/5 for me this time, I can't say it is like any of her books I have read before as they all seem very different, I would certainly say give it a bash if you came across it but I wouldn't actively encourage you to seek it out.

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  1. Interesting that there is such an unlikable character in a book such as this. Do you think that the author meant for Willy to come off as that unpleasant?

  2. I think she may have Brian, her characters, that I have read, are always somewhat unlikeable. We need to talk about Kevin, well Kevin was in a league of his own. Maybe this is her stamp?

  3. I wonder about Willy also, I guess the author like creating unlikeable characters. I need to pick up this author though.

  4. I've only read one book by Shriver and I loved it, but I am hesitant to read anything else by the author. I'm afraid I'll be disappointed, I think.

    I havent' heard of this one before. I have to wonder too if Wily is supposed to be unlikeable though, from your review. I don't always have to like a character to enjoy a book, but it really depends on what else is going on in the book.


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