Time for another review. I finished The Snow Kimono by Mark Henshaw a couple of weekends ago. I wanted to write a review right away, but I had to sort through my thoughts and by the time I did that, life caught up. Now a funeral and a company holiday party later, and here I finally am.
The book opens up with Inspector Jovert and his accident after a mysterious letter (be prepared because I found some other literary references in this book). The letter was from a woman claiming to be his daughter and asking to meet. After he recounts his accident, a Japanese man named Professor Omura comes to him and invites himself in. He explains that he, too, had a daughter, but she was not biologically his. Most of the novel is Professor Omura explaining the tale of his friend Katsuo, the real father of Omura’s daughter, flaked with Omura’s story as well as Jovert’s.
At one point, Omura explains that his father liked puzzles. He liked them so much that he ordered a “western puzzle” and was disappointed because once complete, the image was the same as that on the box. This novel is one big puzzle.
All the characters’ stories in this book are based on lies. I don’t recall anyone telling the complete truth except one minor character.
The story is also told in fragments out of place, which you have to piece together to get the complete story, which again, is based on lies. So is it really the whole story?
I felt the ending was very confusing and did not explain anything at all so you are kept guessing. I like cliffhangers, but this wasn’t one. I don’t want to give anything away, but I came out of the novel feeling confused and not complete. I was a bit angry because I could not mentally tell if I did not understand, or if that’s how the book wants you to feel.
Overall, I gave it a 3/5 due to the story fragments being captivating, especially Katsuo’s, and the characters were interesting. The mystery was well kept and hard to guess (and I am normally pretty good at guessing the twists). I just didn’t like the way the stories were scattered, how they didn’t come together at times, and so many loose ends.
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think? Am I missing something? Let me know!
Tags: france, inspector, japanese, jovert, lies, mark henshaw, mystery, novel, puzzle, Review, the snow kimono
Just a forewarning to anyone who may read this, I do not normally do reviews. I don’t feel very comfortable at reviewing anything, so I figured I’d start with a recent movie I saw – Murder on the Orient Express.
It is, of course, based on the novel by the same name. The novel was written by Agatha Christie, one of the most notorious names in the murder mystery genre. I have not read anything by this author, but have seen some local theater productions of a few of her stories.
The movie was directed by Kenneth Branagh and he starred in it as the lead: Hercule Poirot. The movie included very well known actors and actresses: Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp, Penolope Cruz, Willam Dafoe, Judi Dench, just to name a few.
The movie starts with Hercule Poirot solving a “whodunnit case” in Jerusalem. We quickly see that he is obsessive compulsive, which adds humor in the story from time to time due to it. After solving the case and explaining it to a large crowd, he is off to take a vacation from solving mysteries. Not even the first day he is taking a mental health day, he runs into a well known friend, Bouc, who suggests taking holiday on his locomotive, The Orient Express. It is there that a murder takes place, leaving Hercule Poirot the only one who can solve it and save Bouc’s name.
Overall, I really enjoyed the casting and thought the cast did an excellent and very believable renditions of their characters. The scenic shots were beautiful and some of the shots in general were very interesting. Such as one scene where Poirot is in the victim’s cabin studying the body. It is shot from above and you can see the cabin partition, which allows you to see into Poirot’s unoccupied cabin. I really enjoyed that and felt it worked really well.
However, there was some lines in different languages. Subtitles were used, but I didn’t think there was enough lines to justify having them in different languages. They could have omitted them and saved the time to read subtitles. I get why they did what they did, but I felt if they were going to go that route, more scenes in different languages would have been better.
The worst offense was that it dragged on. Movies that are 2 hours should not feel like they are 2 hours. At the end of a 2 hours movie I want to say “Wow! That was 2 hours?! It went by so quick!” Some scenes could have been omitted or lines could have been cut.
I also must have missed it, because there were characters that were on the train that I did not realize were there until closer to the end of the movie. They played a small part in everything, and were pretty much useless. Again, I get why the characters were in the movie and have a huge revel as to who they are and why they are apart of the case, but a little more involvement from them would have been nice.
I gave this movie 3 stars, only because I have not read an Agatha Christie novel and therefore can’t compare this to the book. I am not sure how, where, or why it differs, so I am going to use caution and rate it 3 instead of 4.
What did you think? If you read the book, let me know if it was close to the original content or if it strayed.
Tags: agatha christie, book, casting, film, hercule poirot, languages, movie, murder, murder on the orient express, mystery, Review, train, whodunnit