I remember someone raving about this book a few months ago, before it was released. The hype excited me to buy it and read it. Did it live up to the hype? Not quite, but Child 44 is a very good book. Intelligent writing, no cheesy dialogue and no plot twist at the end that leaves you reeling. The characters are more important than the plot, and I think that is one of the reasons this book shines.

Anyone else read this yet?

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I did, John, based on Ali Karim's high praise, which is perhaps what you remember. At any rate, I was prepared to dislike it due to all the hype. But, boy, was I ever wrong...this is my favorite book of the year, thus far. For me, it wasn't the characters so much as the place and era. I found it bleak, dreary and paranoic, yet, like driving past a car wreck, impossible to avert my gaze. If life truly was like this in Russia during the end of Stalinism, (and I suspect it was,) it must have been horrific. The serial killer plot was actually secondary to me. Terrific book.
Just finished it and rather enjoyed it. He certainly captured the bleakness and loss of hope in that era.
One question? Did anyone else get thrown off by the very first sentence? That missing comma (was it a style thing?) really threw me.
I guess the caps shift is supposed to substitute for a comma? I didn't notice it the first read through, but yeah, there should be a comma there.
On my list -- as soon as I get through the pile of submissions. :)
I read it a little while ago and, I confess I was very leery partly because of the level of hype and partly because of the feeling that it might just have been written as a film script in the making which is not my sort of book at all. It did seem to take a while to get going, but I found that I was hooked. The lasting message for me was the way fear can control so much.
When I posted my review somebody mentioned the movie Citizen X based on the story of the people who finally caught and the book The Killer Department
You should definitely read The Red Ripper which is about Andrei Chikatilo. It is CREEPY.

You should also become a fan of the book on Facebook and take the "Who Would You Be in Stalinist Russia" quiz.
The hyperbole around the book spoilt the first half for me, as I expected some kind of life-changing experience. Once I got used to the idea that it was just a damn fine book, I really enjoyed it. The paranoia in Soviet Russia really came across, and it was a hell of a project for a debut novelist.


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