Nick Landau is a biker. A lone wolf who escaped a childhood crushed by the strict and cruel rules of his obsessive religious family. Now he is coming home to face the demons of his past. Let Sleeping Gods Lie was shortlisted in the 2007 Australian IP Picks Awards.
A man raised in a strict, religious family and community--a cult really--flees at the age of 15 only to return ten years later at the request of his family. He knows something is up but isn't sure what. Needless to say, they don't have his best interests at heart. Meanwhile, a woman seeking answers about her mother returns to the same community, and with the help of a local resident, she discovers some disturbing secrets. This is a dark and elegantly written book, and I enjoyed how all the elements weaved together into a satisfying ending.
It's been long since I had a book hangover. This is what the book did, it kept me awake late at night because it was so difficult to put down. Let Sleeping Gods Lie is a page-turner, I was absorbed from the beginning till the end. Dianne Gray certainly knows how to tell a story, and as the title suggests, there are layers in the story that keep revealing characters in a new light.
The setting of the story is well accomplished. It captures not only the place or landscape but people in that environment, and how they change as the story unfolds. As I was reading the book, I felt like I know these characters, I've met them somewhere at some point. They behave exactly as you would expect them to and yet they are capable of surprise. The “real-life” characters and their emotions I could relate to, were the highlight for me. They stay with you long after you've finished the book.
Personally I think it's a bit unfair to ask a writer for a sequel, more especially if the ending is satisfying but this is one of those books I wouldn't mind a sequel of.
Let Sleeping Gods Lie is the fourth of Dianne's books I've read, and I'd have to say my least favourite.
It wasn't because the characters were bad, or the story uninteresting. No, the issue I had was with the overuse of similes and metaphors.
Some of them were so bad I actually cringed when reading them. Arms like burnt chicken wings, a face splitting like a can of beans... it was a bit much. Which is why this book has obtained my 'editing required' shelving tag. I think removing some of the random details would make it crisper and a lot nicer to read and most certainly would bump up my rating to at least 4 stars.
This aside, I loved the characters, even the bad ones. I felt that they all played their parts really well. The story flowed nicely and kept me interested. I liked the variety of characters too, we weren't left with cookie cutter families, I liked the messed up family unit of the Landau's, I mean I wouldn't for a second want to meet them, but I liked the complexities of their family unit.
When you add to this story the questions around religion and beliefs, it just all came together in a gnarly mess that somehow just seemed to work.
A decent book if you can overlook the weird similes and metaphors, and by a fantastic Aussie author to boot.
5つ星のうち5.0Best landscape descriptions, well drawn and unique characters: a beautiful novel
投稿者Luanne Castle2015年10月11日 - (Amazon.com)
Dianne Gray’s novel Let Sleeping Gods Lie fascinated me. It first grabbed me with the best landscape descriptions I’ve read in a long time. The story takes place in Australia, specifically, Far North Queensland: “Spindly trees stretched high above, veiling the creek with a thick green canopy nurturing native orchids, staghorns and a congregation of screeching birds.” The description continues: “An old flame tree had fallen into the river. Its limbs, once home to finches and swifts, had become snags for perch and penny turtles.” Who wouldn’t want to move into this territory for the duration of the book?
The book is a bit of a mystery, but also an exploration of the human heart within a culture and setting I found both exotic and familiar at the same time. The main characters Nick and Ali are well drawn and unique. Their antagonists are less complex, but sufficiently frightening (read: dangerous) to keep up the level of suspense.
One of the ways Gray increases suspense is how she weaves together a few threads in short bursts in the latter portion of the book. It really kept me on my toes, and although it sounds a cliché, I couldn’t put down the book!
Another strength of the book is also the only criticism I can make. Gray’s lyrical language--filled with imagery and metaphor--is gorgeous. She really pushes the envelope, and that is the only way prose can rise like poetry off the page. But occasionally the metaphors are pushed too far and could be pruned. A small nit considering the beauty of the novel.
Although I finished the book a couple of weeks ago, I am still feeling its moody power. I won’t forget this book for a long time. Nick, Ali, and Australia have become part of my life.