Friday, September 24, 2010

Breathing Water

I've just finished Tim Hallinan's Breathing Water and now I'm desperate to read more.

I admit that I only started to read it because I was so grateful for all the help I've got from Tim's Finish Your Novel advice to writers (which I highly recommend). Then he kindly sent me a book about writing (not by him) as a prize in a competition he ran. After all that, how could I not read one of his books? The trouble was, they didn't look like the kind of thing I'd usually read. How wrong I was.

For me, the book started out slowly but after a couple of chapters I was reeled in and couldn't put it down - although I also didn't want to get to the end and not have it to read any more. You know that feeling?

What drew me in:
  • Great descriptions of place with just the right amount of detail. I found myself in another world.
  • A huge variety of characters. I identified with the main character, Poke Rafferty, and enjoyed the range of goodies, baddies and the more ambivalent folk who share his world with him.
  • The tension racheting up so that I desperately wanted it to come out all right for the main characters.
  • Wonderful dialogue that seems entirely natural and is very entertaining. 
  • And finally, a satisfying ending.

His newest book The Queen of Patpong is out now and it's going on my Christmas list. (It's a hardback.) Meanwhile, I've ordered A Nail Through the Heart and The Fourth Watcher from amazon UK. I hope they get here soon.


Old Kitty said...

Oooh thanks for the review and the links! It's always good to discover a new author and one that surprises you too! So will definitely check this one out! Thank you!

Take care

fairyhedgehog said...

I'm glad you were interested, Kitty! His online resource for writers is definitely worth checking out (and it's free).

Cliff Stanford said...

I just read Breathing Water and the Queen of Patpong in quick succession, using Amazon Kindle for the iPhone. I was surprised what a good format that is to read in, when travelling.

If you liked Breathing Water you will certainly like the others in the series. It's worth going back to a Nail through the Heart and reading them in order as there are certain sub-stories that follow all the way through. I was amazed, though, at how good a job Hallinan did of making each story stand-alone.

I totally agree with you about this not being "the kind of thing I'd usually read." I nearly didn't get started but I too found I couldn't put it down. My iPhone was on for so long one night it got too hot to touch.


fairyhedgehog said...

Cliff, reading on the iPhone sounds like a great idea. I'm amazed it got hot from being used so much!

I'm going back to the beginning now with A Nail Through The Heart, but I didn't feel I'd missed anything by starting with Breathing Water. As you say, Tim does a good job of making it stand-alone.

Ann said...

I love it when a book grabs me like that. Can't wait to read it, yet don't want to finish it because I am enjoying it too much. When I finish a book like this, I feel like I have just lost a best friend. I will have to look into this. Thanks for the review.

fairyhedgehog said...

Ann, that's exactly how it was. And I was so surprised because I'd expected it to be rather downbeat and depressing and in the end it wasn't at all!

Timothy Hallinan said...

Thank you, FHH, and thanks to all who have commented -- I;m going to use Cliff's kine about his iPhone getting too hot to hold.

A Nail Through the Heart may be a little rough for you, though. It's far and away the toughest of the series, in terms of subject matter.

I tell everybody that, and some people say I'm crazy, some people avoid the book, and some people read it anyway, and I never hear from them again.

Thanks again

fairyhedgehog said...

Tim, I'm glad you're happy! If A Nail Through the Heart is too tough for me I'll just go straight to The Fourth Watcher. I really do want to get back into Poke's world.

By the way, I put most of this review on amazon UK as well. Mind you, Cliff's comment definitely upstages it as a testimonial!

Anonymous said...

I'm always glad to hear other bloggers thoughts on books I haven't yet read. Thanks for the review, and for the links.

fairyhedgehog said...

Glad you liked it, Kelly!

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