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Has potential, but far from a masterpiece
le 23 janvier 2005
Strangely this book does manage to catch your interest immediately. The idea of starting with a murder under mysterious circumstances does lock you into further reading in this 'whodunnit' chase. However, the storyline, which the author unfolds like a Russian doll, loses its threads and falls apart midway through. What shocked me however, was that some of the information in the book was taken straight off websites (verbatim!) which alarmed me at the level of plagerism the author undertook without the least effort to change the wording. And while some of the historical information discussed is intersting and has been the question of dispute for years, the author's plot is an insult to anyone's intelligence. The storyline becomes so rediculous at one stage that I simply read it till the end just to see how far the author will go. Unfortunately he went way too far.
I second the earlier comments on the in-accuracies mentioned in the book. I live in Paris and some of the commentary is pure americana writing destined to impress the reader with the knowledge (or lack of it thereoff) of the author on the city of Paris and the French. The book makes you learn a little, gawk a little, and certainly entertain you a little, but it is far from being anywhere close to a masterpiece. I do not understand all the hype.