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The Miniaturist

(15 Posts)
BettyBolognese Sun 27-Jul-14 21:25:58

So I have seen four different articles about this book, apparently she's a debut author (Jessie Burton) and her novel has gone stratospheric.... Except has it? Amazon reviews aren't particularly good. Is it just marketed well so that it's appearing everywhere? (A la Bone Season) but actually isn't all that at all?
Has anyone read The Miniaturist? Should I bother downloading it, what did you think.

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mimbleandlittlemy Mon 28-Jul-14 14:04:12

It's just been the Book at Bedtime on R4. I didn't hear all of it but what I did hear didn't make me think that I should rush and download it on to Kindle at once.

I saw it the other day in Waterstone - it does have a lovely cover but then I too went on to the Amazon reviews. I'll be interested to hear what others think.

BettyBolognese Mon 28-Jul-14 17:46:33

So it's also been book at bed time... Maybe it is all marketing hype then.


Anyone read it?

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Persephonepool Tue 29-Jul-14 14:07:09

Just started reading it on my kindle. Trial was very strange descriptive writing, however I got into it and bought it.
Interesting so far esp. main character. Do a lot of my reading in bed and if the book is really good it keeps me awake! However I keep falling asleep as it needs some concentration. Will keep going as I think it's got potential and has brilliant PR!!

tripfiction Tue 29-Jul-14 17:19:42

Do you like The Girl with the Pearl Earring and Tulip Fever? (loved both myself). In which case I think you would love the Miniaturist (yes, it has had tremendous hype and marketing). It is very eerie, it takes you to the echoing canals of Amsterdam of the 17th century and has an unusual storyline - the inspiration came from the real Petronella Oortmans' cabinet house in the Rijksmuseum, which features prominently in the book. (if you need a bit more persuading, here's my review plus author Q & A here :

BettyBolognese Tue 29-Jul-14 20:32:48

Thanks persephone and tripfiction I am tempted. I did like Girl with a Pearl Earring, I've never heard of Tulip Fever though.

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tripfiction Wed 30-Jul-14 09:41:34

Ooh, then with Tulip Fever (by Deborah Moggach) you have a treat in store. It is the fictionalised account of the trading of precious flower bulbs that went crazy early 1600s Amsterdam. Fascinating stuff.

spiderswilldescend Wed 30-Jul-14 09:45:09

'Tulip Fever' was great - I need to reread it.

I think this one is going to get a huge amount of coverage largely down to the size of the advance, and the fact that the author is very marketable. The hype has been brewing for about a year so they really have invested very heavily in it.

I've got a copy but haven't started it yet - do hope it lives up to all the headlines though.

PenelopeLane Fri 01-Aug-14 02:46:11

I'm going to look up Tulip Fever now ...

A reviewer I trust said that the Miniaturist was a good enough read, but not fabulous, and flawed in a way she didn't want to tell me about until I'd read the book myself.

So based on that I've decided to read it anyway, so at least I'll have an opinion myself ..

callipygian00 Fri 01-Aug-14 10:11:50

I'm almost at the end of the Miniaturist. Don't remember finding it tough at the beginning, but found it addictive reading throughout. It's full of secrets - the start made me wonder 'why would she do that' and 'why is he being like that'? I just wanted to know WHY?! So it gradually feeds you the answers - and I jaw dropped at a couple of them - only predicted one of the big revelations. Loved it. I wouldn't normally go for a book set a few hundred years ago in Amsterdam but I actually found the historical elements really interesting, it wasn't too heavily historical if you see what I mean. Had to keep it at work so I would actually manage to get housework done at home. Sad to be finishing it. I've heard of it being compared to Girl with Pearl Earring and also Donna Tartt's Goldfinch.

ShyGirlie Sat 02-Aug-14 11:44:29

reading it at the mo, about a quarter of the way through. finding it ok, easy enough to keep track of but a bit depressing.

i think i need a break from heavy books and need something a bit more fun / lighthearted / easy reading but not chick lit per se. quite tough to find anything i like!

TobyZiegler Sat 02-Aug-14 22:24:24

After having a nose I think I'm going to go for the tulip book instead. Thank you for the recommendation.

spiderswilldescend Sun 03-Aug-14 11:58:25

I think there's a film of 'Tulip Fever' being made too.

I've almost finished 'The Miniaturist' now and I think the reviews are spot on - where does her sparkiness and questioning come from? Why is there so little engagement between main characters? Why is the central 'supernatural' element really not much of a thing after all (given that it was probably sold on that)?

It just makes me want to read other books with historical settings about strong women rather than this one sad. It's not bad, but I'd never read it again.

I've had a look at the author's website/blog too and I think you get a real sense of the problems of the book by how she writes there - she overwrites to a huge degree, to the extent that your attention is lost.

jaynebxl Sun 31-Aug-14 14:37:18

I just read the Miniaturist this week. I enjoyed it enough for a holiday read and enough to want to know what happens but I found lots of it unbelievable and unsatisfactory. Particularly the slightly magical / mystical element which seemed to come to nothing. And I was a bit frustrated in the lack of relationship between anyone.

PenelopeLane Thu 25-Sep-14 09:36:54

I finally got hold of it and really tried, but couldn't get into it. I really did try as well! I just found the writing almost too deliberate and earnest without being beautiful if that makes sense. Plus I thought that some of the character's reactions to some of the situations made no sense

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