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Monday, April 21, 2008

Interred With Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell

Posted by Irish in Uncategorized2 Comments

Publisher: Dutton Adult (Hardcover); Penguin Audio
Publication Year: 2007
ISBN: 0525949704 (Hardcover) ; 0143142399 (Audio)
Format: Audio
Pages: 432 (Hardcover)
Audio Length: 12 discs, approx. 14 hours
Read By: Kathleen McNenny

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

The premise of Interred with Their Bones is a simple one. Rosalind “Roz” Howard, friend of the main character (Kate Stanley) shows up in London days before Stanley is supposed to direct Hamlet at the new Globe. Roz shows up with an offer and box for Kate with the instuctions that if she opens it she ‘must follow where it leads.’ Kate is having none of it though, not when it isn’t every day that an American is allowed to direct a play at the Globe. Although it isn’t long before Kate doesn’t have any choice in the matter. For on the 400th anniversary of the Globes burning it burns again and Roz is found murdered. Kate opens the box and finds a clue which leads to another and another until it is revealed that Roz may have stumbled on the location of Cardeno, one of the lost plays of William Shakespeare based on a story contained with Don Quixote. Along the way she is joined in her quest by Ben Pearl and a few others while trying to stay one step ahead of the killer who is leaving a trail of bodies and burned buildings behind them. Soon it isn’t long before the question of who really was Shakespeare is put into play and all the main players must travel back and forth across the globe in order to find out.

Amazon.com says that ‘Interred with Their Bones is poised to become the next bestselling literary adventure in the tradition of The Thirteenth Tale and The Historian.’ As I haven’t read either of those two books I can’t make an honest assessment of the truth in Amazon’s claims. When I can say that Kate Stanley is a female version of Robert Langdon and Interred with Their Bones is very much like The daVinci Code. It is filled with improbably scenarios and unlikely conincdences that propel Kate Stanley forward. There are twists and turns and then some more twists all bent at trying to keep the reader guessing at who is behind the murders but anyone who pays attention will be able to figure it all out fairly easily as Carrell is not very subtle with some of clues.

Interred with Thier Bones is also very heavy with Shakespearn history. So much so that it distracts from the plot and makes all the modern day characters seem flat as only the barest amount of information is given about them. While the debat on who Shakespeare was has been going on almost as long as the plays have been read, that aspect of the book almost seemed a bit too much. The Shakespeare question also quickly began to distract away from the premise, which was to find a lost Shakespearean play. That search became second and came almost as an after thought much of the time. Interred with Their Bones is filled with lots of names, dates and figures that were tossed out to the reader and while it showed that Carrell really knows her Shakespearen histoty it often weighed down the storyline. All the dates and information also began to be hard to keep track of while listening to the audio version of the book. I’m sure that if I had been reading the book version that I’d have had to flip back and forth amongst the pages in order to verify and refresh my memory on some odd tidbit that was tossed out and then later rementioned.

Interwoven throughout the contemporary story are 4 or 5 interludes that take the reader back to Shakespearean times and are there to give some added information to Kate Stanley’s quest. But again, listening to this on audio I found it hard to keep track of those players and feel that if those sections had been cut out that not much would have been lost. The narrator of the story was adequate when it came to female voices but horrible when it came to the men’s….especially the ones with English accents.

Interred with Their Bones leaves little room for doubt as to what is going to happen, where the author stands on the Shakespeare question or the fact that she is hoping that the book will be picked up and made into movie. Howeverm if you liked The daVinci Code then chances are that you’ll like Interred with Their Bones. Although, in my humble opinion, the adventure sequences and writing were better in The daVinci Code then in this book.

2 Responses to “Interred With Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell”

  1. tapestry100

    Huh, I had been looking at this book for the longest time, but I’m glad now that I haven’t picked it up yet. Maybe I’ll see if the library has it in before I buy it. I found the daVinci Code an interesting, if unchallenging read. While most of it seemed completely improbable, at least, IMO, the premise seemed interesting.

    As for The Thirteenth Tale, I couldn’t recommend that book enough. That was probably at the top of my reading list in 2006. If you have an opportunity to give that a read, take it. I haven’t read Jane Eyre, but a lot of people compared it to that book, saying that it had the same Gothic feel to it.

    I’ve started The Historian before, but for whatever reason, I got about half-way through, set it aside, and never picked it up again, and I can’t remember why that is. I remember what I read was good, so who knows why I put it down.

  2. Irish

    I was really looking forward to this one as well because I love Shakespeare. I’m not a die-hard know everything there is to know about him person but I love reading his works. Some of the historical bits were interesting. It just became a little unbalanced and overpowering as the novel went on and the rest of the story/characters weren’t fleshed out as well.

    I definately don’t think that this book is worth paying the hardcover price. I’d recomend waiting until its in paperback or getting it from the library.

    Like daVinci code Interred is simple writing and highly improbable. But I think after a time I’ll soon forget with book was which because these two are so alike.

    Both the 13th Tale and historian are in my queue to read. I’ll get to them eventually. =) If you haven’t read it yet I’d recommend Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell. Another davinci-esk book but one that I like better. A little more probable (though still would never happen) and the writing was better.