Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

Navigate the site:

Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

Advertise: Rates & stats

Authors & publishers:
I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Marks, Marsha: Flying by the Seat of My Pants | Main | Kandel, Susan: I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason »

Kennedy, Shane: Highbinders

  

Printer-friendly page! Use print preview to see how this page will appear.

AuthorHouse © 2004, 376 pages [amazon]
4 stars

Seth Delaney's first encounter with his niece, the daughter of his dead twin brother Sean, is no happy family reunion: Tanina has come to Seth's office with the express purpose of wresting from him control of the family company, Highbinders Inc., formerly an arms manufacturer with suspicious dealings, now transformed, in the decade's since Seth's father died, into a more legitimate business. Tanina looks like her mother, whom Seth abhorred, except that she has inherited her grandfather's--and her uncle's--blue-black eyes, and apparently their steely resolve and ruthlessness as well. Her appearance prompts from Seth a book-length reverie. His negotiations with Tanina are put on hold as Seth remembers how he has come to be where he is--fifty years old and the only surviving heir (prior to his niece's appearance) to the Delaney-Bathwater fortunes, a man with the eyes of a devil and blood on his hands who stands ready, and is perhaps even relieved, to hand over the keys to his father's company to an untried 21-year-old girl.

Their tendency toward internecine feuding would have guaranteed the Delaneys' unhappiness anyway, but the family's future was further complicated when Sean, unwisely and ineffectively, attempted to avenge the wrongful death of his young wife.The story that Seth now recalls begins with the rise of S. Joseph Delaney, Seth's father, an illiterate 17-year-old widower, already the father of twins, who became the wealthy but not quite respectable and still illiterate head of an international company. Delaney accomplished this remarkable feat through sheer intellect, good fortune, alliances with loyal men, and the willingness to achieve his ends through violence when necessary. Joe Delaney's twin boys were joined by three more sons from a second marriage, and the loyalties of this second generation of Delaneys were divided along blood lines, Seth and Sean never quite willing to share power with their half-brothers. Their tendency toward internecine feuding would have guaranteed the Delaneys' unhappiness anyway, but the family's future was further complicated when Sean, unwisely and ineffectively, attempted to avenge the wrongful death of his young wife. The repercussions of his impulsive actions would be felt for decades.   

One can fault author Shane Kennedy's book on a few points. There are a number of small errors in the text that would almost certainly have been caught had the book been published by a traditional publisher. More importantly, the book's conclusion--one part of it, at least--is contrived, and there are a couple scenes in the book that defy credibility (those involving the wielding of axes in company boardrooms). For someone who is, like myself, fiscally illiterate, moreover, the financial details in the book will be incomprehensible, though they are sparse enough not to slow the narrative down.

That said, Highbinders in an impressive piece of fiction. The story jumps around chronologically and is told from multiple perspectives. This might have led to a confusing narrative, but it does not. In fact the book is a collage of well-written scenes that catch and engross the reader. Kennedy manages to invest even his small characters with enough back story to make readers care what happens to them, however short a space is allotted to them in the book. Eventually the story of the Delaney family emerges, through the manifold lenses of its characters, and incredibly, though most of the principals are reprenensible beings, one comes to root for them, or at least to feel pathos over what they've done to themselves. Highbinders is well worth the read. I hope the author finds a broader audience for his work.

Tags: , , ,

< Tweet it! | Reblog
https://www.book-blog.com/2005/06/highbinders_by_.html
Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Comments




Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In


About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






The Sunday Salon.com



Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.