I'm perplexed by the popularity of this novel. I just don't get it. I honestly can't believe this novel has had so many five star reviews on goodreads. I find it worrying to be frank. If this is a good book, please tell me what is a bad book? If Silva writes well, what it is to write badly? Perhaps I shouldn’t judge him on basis of one novel, but I’m writing a review on this book. I don’t get why it is a popular novel. Because to me this is a wonderful example of bad and sloppy writing. I mean as a trivial literature it might just do- if only it wasn't so hopelessly overdone. If only it wasn’t so filled with racial hate. If only it didn’t feature such a stereotypical protagonist. If only it wasn’t a thriller completely devoid of suspense. No, even as trivial literature it is a disaster. To make it any good, you would have to rewrite it. It’s a bad novel period. There are so many little details that I found annoying. Would be too much if I say most of them were pretty lame? No, it wouldn’t. For example, let’s take the protagonist…. Gabriel Allon, our protagonist. Everywhere he goes women throw themselves on him. It is not certain why, I suppose it is just a James Bond cliché the author decided to run with. Our protagonist is supposed to be under lots of stress and aging prematurely, there is no mention of any special gift of his or anything of the sort that makes him so attractive to the opposite gender, yet when he arrives in some small Italian town, every woman is besotted by him.
The more I think of it, the more it seems to me that this novel is a propaganda. This is not a book about spies- not really. What it really is a book about how Western politicians are the only hope of this world, all that is keeping things from falling apart is their constant work. The rest of the world doesn’t matter at all because we all know the democracy doesn’t exist anywhere else (I’m being sarcastic in case you can’t tell). Perhaps the popularity of this book has something to do with the fact that people like to be told they’re special or fortunate because they happen to live in the West. Yes, our protagonist is basically an archangel of some sort, because we all know that in the West there is no corruption, only pure and beautiful democracy. To make it a bit more politically correct, the author decided to make the protagonist an Israeli. News flash- it didn't quite worked out. I found it very worrying that a novel that is so filled with hate towards a specific country (Russia) was published. What is even more disturbing is that nobody is pointing it out. That would be all for today. There is a long review that I wrote on goodreads, so if you want to check it out here is the link.