The Savage Garden

by Mark Mills | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780007161935 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Dorothyredboots of York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on 9/16/2007
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17 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Dorothyredboots from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Sunday, September 16, 2007
Another Richard & Judy Summer read 2007. Synopsis from Amazon:-
'A haunting tale of murder, love and innocence lost set in post-war Tuscany from the award winning author of 'The Whaleboat House'. Behind a villa in the heart of Tuscany lies a Renaissance garden of enchanting beauty. Its grottoes, pagan statues and classical inscriptions seem to have a secret life of their own -- and a secret message, too, for those with eyes to read it. Young scholar Adam Strickland is just such a person. Arriving in 1958, he finds the Docci family, their house and the unique garden as seductive as each other. But post-War Italy is still a strange, even dangerous place, and the Doccis have some dark skeletons hidden away which Adam finds himself compelled to investigate. Before this mysterious and beautiful summer ends, Adam will uncover two stories of love, revenge and murder, separated by 400 years! but is another tragedy about to be added to the villa's cursed past?'

Journal Entry 2 by Dorothyredboots from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Monday, October 15, 2007
I thought this started off very well. Sadly I found that I lost all interest in it about halfway through and I confess to giving up 150 pages from the end. I got to the point of not caring one way or another what happened to the characters and the 'messages' hidden in the garden, and the long explanations thereof were irritating to say the least. Very disappointed.

Journal Entry 3 by Dorothyredboots at The Golden Lion in York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Released 13 yrs ago (11/27/2007 UTC) at The Golden Lion in York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom

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Journal Entry 4 by Apechild from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I hadn't planned on taking this one away with me, but at the end of the evening there were quite a few books left so I thought, oh, go on then, I'll give it ago.

Journal Entry 5 by Apechild from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Curiously, I found it took a while to get into this and then about half way through it started to pick up. I think it works well as light summer reading, but once you've read it once, you're not going to want to read it again.

The writing is ok, but not fantastic, and I really didn't get a feel for the period it's supposed to be set in. And the way he discovered new things about the mysteries were really lame. I mean, realising someone isn't their father's child because you notice on a photograph (the only time you see them) that their earlobes aren't attached. What? Things like that make it feel like he couldn't really be bothered to work on the plot.

There are good ideas in the book, and the whole notion of these mysteries and stories being entwined in the garden design is great, but I really don't feel like he made the most of this potential.

Oh, and Gloria - you were right, your boyfriend was really dull.

It's an allright book I suppose, but it'll soon be forgotten and you never really feel like you're bothered that much about the characters and what will happen to them.

Journal Entry 6 by Apechild from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Friday, February 1, 2008
Have now organised a bookray for this one. The order is as follows. If anyone else wants to join whilst this is part way through, just pm me =)

Katrinat - UK
Brunton11 - UK
Bjorg - Iceland
Tuttsab – Norway
Hippolein - Finland
Bookmaniac70 – Bulgaria
Tanamo – UK (skipped - got another copy)
Chas04 - UK (UK only)
Yorkshire-lass – UK (anywhere)
LittleSuz - UK (anywhere)
Blackteiwaz – Costa Rica (USA/Europe)
Trojanpotato – USA (USA ONLY)
Beagle2 –USA (?)
Geishabird - Canada (Anywhere)
Carelaisa - Canada (pre USA/Can, intl - surface)

Journal Entry 7 by katrinat from Southend-on-Sea, Essex United Kingdom on Sunday, February 10, 2008
Recieved through the post on Friday. I'm about 100 pages in so far and finding it an easy read, although I will admit that I'm not gripped yet..
Should be able to post on to the next person by mid-week

Journal Entry 8 by katrinat from Southend-on-Sea, Essex United Kingdom on Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I finished this book and quite enjoyed the last part of the book but to be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that I was at my Mums and that was the only book I had taken with me it would have been abandoned. In the middle to many random things were going on, I was bored and lost.
I don't think I cared about the charcaters at all or the mystery. It did make me want to read The Divine Comedy though.
I hope the next reader enjoys it more. I'll be posting it later today x

Journal Entry 9 by wingbrunton11wing from Chester, Cheshire United Kingdom on Friday, February 15, 2008
Received yesterday. Mixed reviews so far for this one so it will be interesting to see what it's like.

Journal Entry 10 by wingbrunton11wing from Chester, Cheshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I'm with the others on this one - It was a bit hit and miss throughout. I found myself curious in parts and in others wishing the author would get on with it! However, it's always good to try a new author and I agree that I might be tempted to try 'The Divine Comedy' one day too based on what I've read here.

I have Bjorg's address so will get this book in the post to them tomorrow. Thanks all for sharing.

Journal Entry 11 by Bjorg from Reykjavík, Reykjavík (Höfuðborgar svæðið) Iceland on Thursday, April 3, 2008
The book arrived today...at last!! it came to Iceland actually about 1 week ago but was stuck at the post office here for some reason:(
Anyways, am almost finished with the book I´m reading now so I can soon start on this one:)

Journal Entry 12 by Bjorg from Reykjavík, Reykjavík (Höfuðborgar svæðið) Iceland on Saturday, April 26, 2008
Ehm, what can I say?? I did not like it. I had a hard time trying to concentrate on it, it did not get intresting until the very end. There were times when I thought about giving up on the book! oh well...
will send it off to Tuttsab as soon as I´ve gotten the address:)

Journal Entry 13 by Bjorg from Reykjavík, Reykjavík (Höfuðborgar svæðið) Iceland on Thursday, May 1, 2008
Will send the book to Tuttasb tomorrow:)

Journal Entry 14 by Tuttasb from Trondheim, Sør-Trøndelag fylke Norway on Monday, May 12, 2008
The book arrived safe. Got another bookraybook to read first but then I'll start on this one.

Released 13 yrs ago (7/9/2008 UTC) at BookCrosser in book ring/ray, By Mail/Post/Courier -- Controlled Releases

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I couldn't consentrate and I got bored. Maybe if I read it another time, another place it would be better but sorry, not this time. Will be mailed today.

Journal Entry 16 by winghippoleinwing from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The book arrived today, although it was a surprise how it had stayed in the envelope (was all broken and open when it arrived).
Guess I will have to complain at the Finnish Post, as this is now the third thing in row that arrives broken :-(

After all the comments, don't know if I can tell to look forward to reading this one, but anyway I do have 3 ringbooks before this one to get out!

Journal Entry 17 by winghippoleinwing from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I have to confess that I never would have read through the whole book, if it had not been for the fact that they promised 3 tragedies at the back.
Don't know why it had to take forever (more than 1/3 of the book) before you get even the slightest idea that you're reading something special, and even after that it seemed like the writer would have needed a better editor for this book!
The idea of linking the garden with the present and past was of course a nice thing to do, making it somehow more agreable to read, less garden would have been better (at least if you're not into gardening or architecture yourself)

Will try to get in touch with the next person now ;-)

Journal Entry 18 by winghippoleinwing at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Friday, July 25, 2008

Released 13 yrs ago (7/25/2008 UTC) at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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The book continues its travels this evening for Bulgaria.
Hope it arrives safely and fast!

Journal Entry 19 by bookmaniac70 from София / Sofia, Sofiya Bulgaria on Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Taken from the post office today. I will rely on OpheliaPhillips` words that the book may serve well as a good summer reading,and am going to take it with me for the rest of my holidays:-)).

Journal Entry 20 by bookmaniac70 from София / Sofia, Sofiya Bulgaria on Sunday, August 17, 2008
The book wasn`t so bad as I feared:-)). I agree that the plot could have been more elaborated and the "mystery" was quite on the surface but I had no problems reading the novel and it suited my holiday mood.

Journal Entry 21 by bookmaniac70 from София / Sofia, Sofiya Bulgaria on Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tanamo has already acquired a copy of the book,so I`m moving to the next participant.

Journal Entry 22 by bookmaniac70 at Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Released 13 yrs ago (8/26/2008 UTC) at Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire United Kingdom

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Sent to chas04.

Journal Entry 23 by chas04 from Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, September 2, 2008
This arrived this morning. I'l start it as soon as I've finished my current read, thank you very much!!!!

Journal Entry 24 by chas04 from Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire United Kingdom on Sunday, September 14, 2008
Sometimes, very occasionally, the book was compelling reading but most of th time it was a bit of a chore. I guessed the ending from the beginning, so that was also a disappointment. It's hard to see how this book became such a bestseller last year as really, it's not that great.

I'll PM yorkshire-lass for their address and then send it on.

Journal Entry 25 by chas04 from Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire United Kingdom on Thursday, September 18, 2008
Sending to yorkshirelass in Kent.

Journal Entry 26 by wingyorkshire-lasswing from Maidstone, Kent United Kingdom on Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Thanks chas04,the book arrived safely this morning. I should be able to start it winin a few days, and it will be interesting to see what I make of it,after reading all the other comments!

Journal Entry 27 by wingyorkshire-lasswing from Maidstone, Kent United Kingdom on Sunday, October 5, 2008
This wasn't as bad as I'd feared it might be! It was an ok read, but not a great one,I don't think it will stick in my mind for very long. I have LitleSuz's address and I will get it in the post to her within the next few days.

Journal Entry 28 by wingyorkshire-lasswing at By Mail, Book Ring -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Released 13 yrs ago (10/8/2008 UTC) at By Mail, Book Ring -- Controlled Releases

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This is now on its way to LittleSuz,who I hope enjoys it.

Journal Entry 29 by wingLittleSuzwing from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, October 9, 2008
Thanks Yorkshire-lass. This arrived this morning. It doesn't sound like a classic, but I plan to start on it next week just to make sure :-)

Journal Entry 30 by wingLittleSuzwing from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Finished this morning on the bus to work.

The Savage Garden wasn't bad as books go. It reminded me a lot of "The Lying Tongue" by Andrew Wilson, and actually compared very favourably to it. I enjoyed the mystery of the garden, the mystery of Emilio less so. (Really must read a translation of Dante sometime - this is the second book I've read in the last year which makes heavy reference to it.)

My main issue with this book is the language. It's so simple and staccato, making the process of reading feel like driving along a bumpy road. However, it's certainly not the worst-written book I've read in 2008.

I've PMed Blackteiwaz for her address. Hope to post this away at the weekend.

Journal Entry 31 by wingLittleSuzwing at Exchange/Trade, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, October 18, 2008

Released 13 yrs ago (10/18/2008 UTC) at Exchange/Trade, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases

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Sent on its way to Blackweitaz.

Journal Entry 32 by blackteiwaz from Calgary, Alberta Canada on Thursday, October 30, 2008
It's here! I'm really looking forward to read it, although I have a couple of bookrings to read before this one, so bear with me please.
LittleSuz: thank you for sending it and for the lovely postcard from Edinburgh castle! ;)

Journal Entry 33 by blackteiwaz from Calgary, Alberta Canada on Sunday, November 30, 2008
767245 This book has mixed reviews and I have to place myself on the side of those who liked it. It is a mystery that I enjoyed discovering, I liked the garden and its secrets and I liked Signora Docci's character. I also connected a bit with Adam, the main character.
Here is a quote that I liked, that might not seem significant (and I've re-read it a few times making sure that it doesn't conceal any spoilers, I don't think it does):
"It was clear to him now that he had brought a sinister conspiracy into being through a sheer act of will. He'd stretched the facts to fit his case and disregarded those that didn't - crimes he'd often been accused of in the past by Professor Leonard. Standing there before the altar, it also became clear to him why he'd allowed his imagination to run away with him. The memorial garden had denied him any further taste of intrigue, so he'd searched for it elsewhere - he'd manufactured it from his own frustration." P.220

I already have the address of the next reader, I'll drop it off at the post office on Wednesday! :)

Journal Entry 34 by blackteiwaz at bookcrosser, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Released 12 yrs ago (12/10/2008 UTC) at bookcrosser, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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Finally on its way to the next reader, sorry for the delay!

Journal Entry 35 by trojanpotato from San Diego, California USA on Sunday, December 28, 2008
I think it arrived a few days ago, but I went down to see my family for Christmas and only got it out of the mailbox today. I'm excited to read it in spite of the mediocre reviews, if only because of the postcards enclosed. Thanks blackteiwaz!

Journal Entry 36 by trojanpotato from San Diego, California USA on Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I really enjoyed the historical mystery, but not the present day one. In addition, the main character was really hard to attach to, which I've been seeing a lot recently. I wonder if I've been choosing bad books or if it's just me.

In any case, I will send it off to beagle2 tomorrow.

Journal Entry 37 by rem_FSM-276148 on Friday, January 9, 2009
Received from trojanpotato today. Next up on my ever growing pile to read.

Journal Entry 38 by rem_FSM-276148 on Friday, March 13, 2009
Savage Garden never caught my full attention. I put it down three times to read other books. Sending to geishabird to continue the bookray.

Journal Entry 39 by geishabird from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Saturday, March 28, 2009
Arrived safely, thank you!

I am intrigued by the mixed reviews of the other readers...interested to see what I think of the book.

Journal Entry 40 by geishabird from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I found this an easy and agreeable read, if not a particularly challenging one. I guess I kept expecting more of a revelation towards the end, but it was all kept quite subtle...not a bad thing, but I guess I felt we were being set up for more of a surprise. The garden mystery was interesting, but I find it a bit hard to imagine that in 400 years Adam was the first person to figure it out! As others have mentioned, I found Adam a bit vague and hard to connect with. If the character had been developed more it would have made for a more interesting plot, I think. Not a bad book, but a little duller than one would have expected. Thanks very much for sharing it; I'll send it on to the next reader as soon as I can.

Journal Entry 41 by geishabird from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Sunday, April 19, 2009
Mailed off to carelaisa yesterday...enjoy!

Journal Entry 42 by wingcarelaisawing from Québec, Québec Canada on Friday, April 24, 2009
rec'd this morning. Since I'm the last person on this ray and have two rings to read before, this book will wait a little to be read by me.

thanks to OpheliaPhillips for organizing this ray and to geishabird for sending it my way [ along with the other books :)) ]

Journal Entry 43 by Apechild from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Saturday, April 25, 2009
I will just jump in here as this has now reached the last person in the ray. Thanks to everyone for keeping this going - it's so nice when they don't get stalled. And it's now up to Carelaisa as to what happens to this book when it's been read =).

Journal Entry 44 by wingcarelaisawing from Québec, Québec Canada on Thursday, June 11, 2009
After reading numerous reviews over here, good and bad, of this novel, I took it as an average read… and honestly, I wasn’t disappointed. Still, it isn’t the book of the year but it’s a nice read. I truly liked the references to some classics in literature, which suit perfectly the mood set in the book. Of course, the ending is not exactly what I expected but overall, it was a relaxing read and I enjoyed it while I read it.

Now, since I'm the last person of this ray, I'm making this book available for either another ray, a trade or a RABCK... not sure yet which one it will be!

Journal Entry 45 by wingcarelaisawing at RABCK, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases on Monday, September 26, 2011

Released 10 yrs ago (9/25/2011 UTC) at RABCK, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases

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sent to the winner of the August/September Happy Day RABCK.

hope the book will be liked!

Journal Entry 46 by copchic905 at St. Louis, Missouri USA on Monday, October 3, 2011
Received as the winner of the Aug/Sept. Happy Day winner :) Thank you soooooo very much, look forward to reading & passing along :)

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