Search This Blog

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Providence by Caroline Kepnes

As I read the first few chapters of Caroline Kepnes' Providence, I was delighted and expected to love the book.  But...that didn't happen.

There was an abrupt turning point, and the novel took an unexpected turn that didn't work well for me.

from the description:  Growing up as best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe are the only ones who truly understand each other, though they can never find the words to tell one another the depth of their feelings. When Jon is finally ready to confess his feelings, he's suddenly kidnapped by his substitute teacher who is obsessed with H.P. Lovecraft and has a plot to save humanity.

Including an H.P. Lovecraft element sounded interesting; however, the way the story proceeded was much less interesting than the initial chapters.  I didn't find it suspenseful, and I plowed through most of it.  

Lovecraft was a strange man, but I've never been particularly interested in reading his work.  I have been interested in the way his pulp fiction influenced other writers, though, which is why I wanted to read Providence.   The love of all things Lovecraftian was one of the weirdest parts of the book--the "love" of all the people who attended the annual Necronomicon festival in Providence and pseudo-philosophical stuff was bizarre.  

There was so much potential, and yet the book wandered around, repeating itself, and never truly examining the most interesting parts about Blair and his experiments.  It will please some people (reviews on NetGalley cover the spectrum), but Providence left me dissatisfied.

NetGalley/Random House

genre?  June 19, 2018.  Print length:  359 pages.

14 comments:

  1. Yes, yours is not the only review that I've read that was less than positive. I'm thinking this will be a pass for me. So many other books to read that would suit better. And thanks for explaining what your experience was like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At first, I was certain that I'd love it, but it turned out not to be right for me. I haven't read either of her previous books, but I might look into them to see how they compare.

      Delete
  2. I've only read You by Keppnes which I liked but I don't think I will continue with that particular series.

    Like you, I am fascinated by the influence that Lovecraft has had on other writers. Along those lines, I read The Night Ocean by Paul LaForge last year but I didn't really enjoy it. But there is more out there to check out. I have Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff on my list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of the Goodread reviewers liked You a great deal, but opinions on Providence varied dramatically. This was my first book by Kepness and it was linked to The Dunwich Horror. I took a look at Lovecraft Country--some irony in that as Lovecraft's letters reveal his racism. I'm eager to see what you think!

      Delete
  3. Oh bummer... I've only read one book by this author and I really liked although the end was a bit meh. I don't know anything about Lovecraft but I am kind of intrigued by this one. I do have it so I'll have to keep you posted!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, good! I hope you like it better than I did and maybe make me reconsider--a little. :)

      Delete
  4. Never good when you feel like you have to plow (or plod) your way through a book. I think I'm going to skip this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually when a book bothers me, I don't finish it, but for some reason, I was determined to keep reading. And I don't regret it, even if I didn't like it.

      Delete
  5. I've only read the first book by this author. I've read from a few reviews that this book was a so-so read so I'll probably skip this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The book has a niche vibe and will appeal strongly to fans of Lovecraft, but probably not to the general public. Most people seemed to really like Kenpnes' first book.

      Delete
  6. This one sounds a bit too out there for my tastes. I had considered picking it up, but I'm glad I didn't. I'm not a big fan of Lovecraft, and the plot just sounds too implausible to me. Wish you had enjoyed it more, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is one of those books that I'm glad I read even though I had problems with it. :)

      Delete
  7. I have a copy of this one to read. I am sorry you ended up not liking it after such a promising start. :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to know what you think after you read it. :)

      Delete