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Mr. Clarinet - Review

I really hate not finishing a book. Hate every aspect about it. Sadly for Nick Stone's Mr. Clarinet, I was forced to set the book aside. I had been mulling it over for the last week, and a few nights ago I reached my limit. I was reading a chapter in the book, one that I felt was the turning point, and I just did not care. I didn't care about the hero, Max Mingus. I didn't care about the story, the kidnapping of children in Haiti. I didn't care about the larger social drama of everyday life in Haiti. The thing did not work for me on any level.

I know many have a page limit to termination, but I don't. This lead me to read almost 300 pages of a 425 page book. Seriously, I could have finished the thing if I just spent another day or two with it. It is very strange when a book crosses over from 'not your cup of tea' to 'life is too short.'

Truth be told the book was in trouble almost immediately. Without delving too deeply into it there is a very tiny bit of detail that Stone writes early on in the book. And for one reason or another it just set me off. I felt that the bit of detail needed elaboration that Stone either choose not to include or was uninformed not to include. In the cold light of day this critisism is definitely nit-picking. If Stone had added a single adjective or chosen a different piece of information I might still be reading. It is very odd to me that a curious bit of detail should start this sweater from unraveling, but it did and there is nothing to be done about it now.

I don't think this is a bad book, just one that failed to connect with me. Stone's directing of the readers gaze to Haiti is one that I find to be very interesting. Heck, it was what drew me to the book in the first place. Many feel that Nick Stone is a hugely talented writer, and even with my disappointing experience I certainly don't feel the need to disabuse anyone of that notion.

My hope is that you read this book and love it.

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