Immediately after reading Dismantled, I rated it 5 stars. I really liked it, and I came out of my reading with a case the creeps. You know, the good kind, the reason why you read spooky books…
After thinking about it afterward, I lowered the rating to 4.5 stars. There were some details that didn’t quite hold together for me when I thought back on the book. Still, my recollections were primarily positive, the book is beautifully written, and the roller coaster ride while reading it was fantastic.
I liked and disliked the characters. I thought they were well executed, but not always people I’d want to hangout with.
I liked 9 year old Emma, even while feeling sorry for her– her parents are less than ideal. And of course there’s the imaginary friend. Is Emma hallucinating? Is she being haunted? Is she just really creative?
Tess and Henry were more complex. I really liked them as characters, even if I didn’t always care for them as people. In college, these two had been artists and part of a disruptive group, the Creative Dismantlers (“To understand the nature of a thing, it must be taken apart”). Now they’ve had a child, settled down, and are much more mainstream in their artistic endeavors. They’ve drifted apart, and neither is handling life well.
Their past is haunting them. The question is how literal that statement is.
The story jumps between the historical hi-jinks of the Creative Dismantlers, Tess’s current story, Henry’s current story and Emma’s current story. The tale of what happened in the past and that of what is happening now unroll in parallel, each having twist and turns (some unexpected, others less so).
Dismantled is beautifully written, but not enough to get in the way of the story. The reflection on the nature of art and the relationship between art and the artist; the descriptions of the setting; the depth of the characters: All of these contribute to this book being more than just a thriller. I think it works on that level.
And after all that, I think what will stick with me is the ghost story.
For more information on the book, go to Jennifer McMahon’s website.
- Tuesday, May 18th: Rundpine
- Wednesday, May 19th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
- Thursday, May 20th: Luxury Reading
- Tuesday, May 25th: The Cajun Book Lady
- Thursday, May 27th: Lit and Life
- Tuesday, June 1st: Drey’s Library
- Wednesday, June 2ed: Bookalicio.us
- Thursday, June 3rd: Chick With Books
- Monday, June 7th: Regular Rumination
- Wednesday, June 9th: Booksie’s Blog
- Thursday, June 10th: Take Me Away