Publication Date: 1990
When Easy Rawlins gets an offer for some quick money in exchange for looking for a woman, he jumps at the chance. After all, no one ever said he had to find her.
As he feebly begins his search, Easy gets the sense that things aren’t quite what they seem. People are lying to him and being secretive about this mysterious woman. What could possibly be so important about her that has everyone on edge?
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Date Read: July 19, 2018
I had heard from a few online sources that this is considered an American classic in terms of mystery novels, and seeing as it’s my favorite genre, I thought that I should check this out. I was able to get it off Audible and decided to pick it up because it’s a fairly short audiobook (less than 6 hours).
The beginning never really grabbed my attention. It was kind of cool to see how things started out, but I had trouble figuring out why I needed to care that everything was happening. Maybe it was intended to start out slow and escalate as the story went on, but I didn’t see the importance of finding this mysterious woman, even when people kept saying that she was elusive and important.
As the book went on, I found that I was having trouble connecting with the characters and the story. I just didn’t understand why I needed to care about what was happening because I couldn’t see the importance of everything. For a woman who was so important, she didn’t feel very significant to the overall storyline. For a mystery that was so entangled in the city’s rich and powerful, the magnitude of what was happening didn’t really come across until the very end.
There were some sprinkles of romance throughout the book, but they failed to add or take away from the storyline. More often than not, I felt like it was a distraction from what was actually happening in the plot or what could happen to move the story forward. Yes, it provided some new information about certain characters and gave a break from the mystery, but it didn’t feel necessary to the overall storyline.
I think my issue with the book was my inability to connect with the story or the characters. Plot wise, it was decent. The mystery was somewhat interesting to me, but I don’t get why people call this a classic when the mystery felt so simple. I didn’t care enough to be surprised when everything fell into place, and by then, I was mostly looking forward to the audiobook being over.
That isn’t to say that I didn’t like the book, but I think it’s just not for me. It fell flat for something that I thought I would enjoy more, and I couldn’t understand the hype around it. There are definitely some good elements to this, like how the characters are all tied together and connected with each other in unexpected ways, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t interesting enough to me.
I liked Easy Rawlins as a protagonist, but there were things about his actions that didn’t quite make sense to me. I felt like he needed a more fleshed-out background and characterization, though he was arguably the most dynamic character in the book.
3 stars. I’m very neutral about this, despite all that I’ve said above. Would I recommend this to someone else? No. But that isn’t to say that someone else wouldn’t enjoy it – I just wouldn’t think of this as something to recommend to a friend.