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The Blinds: A Novel

The Blinds: A Novel

Escrito por Adam Sternbergh

Narrado por Stephen Mendel


The Blinds: A Novel

Escrito por Adam Sternbergh

Narrado por Stephen Mendel

valoraciones:
4/5 (17 valoraciones)
Longitud:
10 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Aug 1, 2017
ISBN:
9780062682048
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descripción

For fans of Cormac McCarthy, Jim Thompson, the Coen Brothers, and Lost

Imagine a place populated by criminals-people plucked from their lives, with their memories altered, who've been granted new identities and a second chance. Welcome to The Blinds, a dusty town in rural Texas populated by misfits who don't know if they've perpetrated a crime or just witnessed one. What's clear to them is that if they leave, they will end up dead.

For eight years, Sheriff Calvin Cooper has kept an uneasy peace-but after a suicide and a murder in quick succession, the town's residents revolt. Cooper has his own secrets to protect, so when his new deputy starts digging, he needs to keep one step ahead of her-and the mysterious outsiders who threaten to tear the whole place down. The more he learns, the more the hard truth is revealed: The Blinds is no sleepy hideaway. It's simmering with violence and deception, aching heartbreak and dark betrayals.

Editorial:
Publicado:
Aug 1, 2017
ISBN:
9780062682048
Formato:
Audiolibro


Sobre el autor

Adam Sternbergh is New York magazine’s culture editor, as well as the author of the Edgar Award–nominated novels Shovel Ready and Near Enemy. He lives in Brooklyn.

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3.8
17 valoraciones / 12 Reseñas
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Reseñas de lectores

  • (3/5)
    Caesura, Texas is an experimental town populated by criminals, all of whom have had their memories of their crimes and their very identities removed. For eight years they've lived in peace, cut off almost entirely from the rest of the world. But now there's been a murder, and it's clear that there are secrets other than the inhabitants' pasts that are being kept.After reading the first couple of chapters, I was very enthusiastic about this novel. The setup had all kinds of promise, there were some exciting mysteries afoot, and I was already feeling a strong sense of suspense. Unfortunately, the rest of the book never lived up to that promise. The more I read, the less believable anything seemed to be -- despite the fact that I was happy enough to buy into the memory-erasing premise -- and the less engaging I found the plot. It didn't help, either, that all of the intriguing secrets get revealed by means of lengthy infodumps. Some of them are mildly interesting infodumps, I guess, but they all ended up feeling kind of anticlimactic.It was at least a very quick read, but that's about all I can say for it.Rating: 2.5/5. Although it's possible I would have rated it higher if the excellent beginning didn't set me up for quite so much disappointment.
  • (3/5)
    I initially liked this book quite a lot as it has an interesting premise, which is this: all the characters in the novel live in a secluded town that they cannot leave. They are there either because a) they've committed a horrible crime out in the "real" world, but have been granted a second chance or b) they are the victims or witnesses to such a crime and are here for their own protection. The kicker is, they've all had the memory of their previous life erased, so no-one knows who is who. I thought this set up offered some interesting material for an examination of whether people who have done bad things, or had them intrude onto their lives, could be redeemed. Would what made things go wrong re-surface or could they actually live productive lives if granted a second chance? In another writer's hands it could have been that novel, and I probably would have loved it. But this writer choose to use this set-up to lurch into much more melodramatic and less satisfying territory, and I cared for it less and less as it went along. I expect the movie rights to it will be bought up fairly soon, if they haven't already, and I mean that in a bad way. I can just see one of Hollywood's dumber directors making this into a very violent and very dumb film. What a waste.
  • (4/5)
    A perfect mash-up between a Western and a thriller. In a secluded area of Texas lies "The Blinds", a place populated by misfits. The residents of The Blinds don't know if they are innocents or criminals because a large portion of their memories have been erased and they are given a second chance. The town has been quiet for the past 8 years until a suicide and a murder happen. Soon outsiders appear to investigate the mysterious events causing a commotion. Chief Cooper tries to keep everyone in control but he has his own secrets to protect.
  • (3/5)
    Just want to mention that I do not normally reader thrillers but at times I do like to read outside of my normal genres and lately have been in the mood for a plot driven book. Others who are more into this type of book may have different opinions of The Blinds.The Blinds has an interesting premise, horrific criminals have their memories erased and are placed in a Texas town in the middle of nowhere. I enjoyed the first half of the book, e.g. the physical description of the town and some of the town's residents. Especially like the character of Sheriff Cooper and one of his officers, Dawes. Unfortunately Robinson the other officer was underdeveloped. Half the book felt original and fresh. The second half felt predictable and unoriginal. I feel like the author was too caught up in the killing, and there was a lot of that, and not enough in the psychology of the inhabitants and their situation. The ending, for me, was not believable.
  • (4/5)
    A bunch of criminals who have had their memories erased live in a small secluded settlement in the middle of a Texas desert with no contact from the outside world. No one knows they're there and they themselves don't remember who they were. They're part of an experiment that wants to see if the mind can truly be erased and if hardened criminals can really change their stripes. For the seventy or so residents of The Blinds life is alright if not a little boring. It's always the same people to talk to, the same magazines and books to read. The only thing current is the news which they can watch to their hearts content. Fran is sick and tired of the same routine every day, she always think she might leave, but she doesn't have the money or the contacts to stay. When she was taken into The Blinds eight years ago she was pregnant and her son, the only true innocent, is the only child in the place. It's a lonely existence. Things gets shaken up when a resident is murdered at the bar. Suddenly everyone is on high alert. Was it the four new residents brought in the day before? Was it an outsider? Who knows who they really are? It's fast paced, unsettling, and raises great moral questions. A fun, inventive read.
  • (5/5)
    This book was so fantastic. It unfolded so well. I wouldn't say it had shocking twists, but it was written so well that it didn't matter. I would love to read more by this author. I would highly recommend picking this up. It's got murder, mystery, mayhem, lost identities, finding oneself, heroes and villains. It's wonderful.
  • (4/5)
    Cooper is the Sheriff, one of the original eight who came to the town of Caesura, a town hidden away in the Texas panhandle. Many have come after him, men and women who were chosen to go to this town, their past lives erased, new identities given. They do not remember what they have done,who they were, but many of them have done horrible things in the outside world. Now, after many years, some are being murdered, and the outside world will intrude, violating their sanctuary.Take a little bit of [book:All Is Not Forgotten26114146], add a helping of [book:City of the Lost25362841], throw in many original and suspenseful elements, mix well, and the finished product is this enthralling novel. Except for being set in Texas, the theme of revenge, and the day of reckoning at the end, I did not consider this a regular Western. Nor do I really see the comparisons to the authors in the blurb.Found this well written, surprises around every corner. Many, many secrets are exposed before books end, but thoroughly enjoyed getting there. Gritty and rather dark, the things some of these people had done before getting to this town, were horrendous, the worst of the worst. Which begs the question, if you don't remember what you did, and are now a completely different person, isolated in a town bereft of normal people, can you now be held accountable? Do you deserve a second chance? Interesting themes are explored, but it is also action packed, fast moving. The main characters are a wonderful mix of all sorts, different pasts, different motivations. Part of the draw of this one is trying to figure out where it was going to go next, I very seldom figured it out.ARC from Netgalley.
  • (4/5)
    The premise of Adam Sternbergh's new novel The Blinds, intrigued me.....An isolated small town in Texas, home to those who can't remember why they were sent there. In their past lives, they were either criminals or witnesses. Now, their memories have been wiped out and they live in the town they refer to as The Blinds. They'll live and die there, as the agreement they made ensures they can't leave. But, after eight fairly peaceful years, Sheriff Cooper has trouble on his doorstep. A suicide, a murder and strangers arriving in town have upset the rhythm and routine of the town......The Blinds has a distinctly unique plot driving the book forward. There was no way to even begin to predict where things might go. Carrying that plot forward are a fairly large number of residents. Those residents are only known by the names they chose when they arrived - a combination of a movie star and a President's name. (This alone fulfills the publisher's note that the book will appeal to Coen Brothers fans) I wondered if anyone remembered their before - or was there anyone there who didn't have their memory wiped? I found it was hard to really connect with the characters as they have no back story, no memories, no reasons - they are simply marking time until....? What are these government looking guys after? Their arrival did open up the possibility that we would learn more. And we definitely do - but truthfully I wasn't that invested by the time answers finally came. And maybe its because of my pragmatic nature, but I found the ending a bit hard to buy, as well as some of the later plot devices that led to the final resolutions. This was just an okay read for me, but I may be in the minority on this one - there are many who loved it.I chose to listen to The Blinds. The reader was Stephen Mendel. He's a reader I've enjoyed before. His voice is clear, easy to understand and is expressive - rising and falling as he narrates. Mendel differentiates between characters with tone and tenor. His matter of fact tone suited the unusual plotting of The Blinds.The Blinds defies being slotted into a genre. It's part mystery and thriller along with some sci-fi and Western overtones
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed the two cyberpunk thrillers in the author's Spademan series and would be happy to read more of those. However it's nice to see that he is not a one-note author and has written a different kind of thriller this time. This one is fast paced with a lot of action at the end.The Blinds is a town in a virtually unpopulated Texas County. It was established 8 years ago as an experimental witness protection program where criminals, victims or witnesses who are in danger because of their cooperation with prosecutors are sent to hide. Their memories have been partially erased and no one in the town knows anyone's true identity. Even the police and others hired to work in the town were given new names. The inhabitants are not prisoners and are free to leave at any time, but if they leave they can never return to the town and while they are there they cannot have any contact with anyone outside the town. There are fewer than 50 residents of the town and virtually no violence, until one man shoots himself and a few months later another man is murdered. These deaths attract the attention of the institute that runs The Blinds, as well as that of a new police deputy. Given the complicated pasts of the residents, there is no absence of people who might want them dead, but the plot progresses in surprising ways. I like this author's writing style, whatever his genre, he tells an original story in a unique setting.
  • (5/5)
    I found this book exhilarating. It reminded me of Stephen King’s writing. Great pace and story with thought-provoking thoughts on morality and forgiveness.
  • (4/5)
    This book should be rated at least 4+ stars. The plot is brilliant, the characters jump from the pages, the tension never flags. I lived it. Kudos To the author.
  • (4/5)
    WESTERN SUSPENSEAdam SternberghThe Blinds: A NovelEccoHardcover, 978-0-0626-6134-0, (also available as an e-book, an audio book, and on audio CD), 400 pgs., $26.99August 1, 2017 1. NO VISITORS2. NO CONTACT3. NO RETURN Those are the rules in Caesura (rhymes with “Tempura”), Texas (aka The Blinds), population forty-eight, located somewhere outside Amarillo, enclosed by a fourteen-foot fence. A twist on the United States Federal Witness Protection Program (WITSEC), the population of Caesura are criminals (some are a “coiled trap,” others are “more like a malfunctioning valve, a faulty weld, a crack in a storage tank leaking toxins”). But they don’t know that. A shadowy organization called the Fell Institute has perfected a method to wipe our memories, and made a deal with the U.S. Marshals to conduct a cruel neurological and psychological experiment. All has been peaceful in Caesura for eight years, but now there are two bodies, both shot to death. The Blinds: A Novel is the latest from Edgar-nominated author Adam Sternbergh. This novel is an original fusion of mystery, comedy, procedural, suspense, and western, seasoned with a bit of science fiction — The Sopranos meets The Andy Griffith Show meets The Twilight Zone. Sternbergh has a lot of fun naming his characters: Each new citizen of Caesura is required to choose a new name using two lists; one list is the names of movie stars, the other is names of United States vice presidents. The result is characters named Spiro Mitchum and Doris Agnew, which had me giggling regularly. These characters are numerous and diverse, but because of the lack of backstories due to the memory wipes, they can’t be complex, making identifying with them and caring about them challenging. There are a few exceptions. Sheriff Calvin Cooper, our anti-hero who’s never had to load his sidearm until now, is given to rambling interior monologues. Sidney Dawes is Cooper’s new deputy. She’s officious, ambitious, and insubordinate. Fran Adams, former love interest of Cooper, is the only resident with a child, eight-year-old Isaac, born in Caesura. Fran’s only memento of her previous life, other than Isaac, is a tattoo of a series of numbers encircling her wrist. The Blinds takes place over five days, but Sternbergh takes too long building to the action, and when the action begins the unrelenting violence becomes tedious. But the plot is intricate and creative, the foreshadowing is hair-raising, the twists whiplash-inducing. And you have to appreciate a plot that employs Susan Sontag essays as a major clue. Sternbergh can turn a phrase. During a town meeting, the “crowd pulsates in the heat, murmuring, fluid and combustible.” In the bar, “a defeated ceiling fan begins its exhausted rotation.” When the climactic action begins, “The silences after the shots are the worst part. Then more shots, sharp reports, getting closer,” a resident thinks, “Like the knock of a census-taker, stopping at every door on the block, approaching yours.” Channeling Davy Crockett, Cooper says, “Let me stress that, despite the perimeter fence and the various rules, your residency here is not a punishment. You are not in jail. You are not in hell. You are in Texas.” The Blinds is about community, retribution (“a distant relative of justice”), the possibility of redemption, and the role memory plays in identity. There’s more than meets the eye to The Blinds.Originally published in Lone Star Literary Life.