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The Fifth Heart: A Novel de Dan Simmons
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The Fifth Heart: A Novel (original: 2015; edição: 2015)

de Dan Simmons (Autor)

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3793052,596 (3.48)12
" In 1893, Sherlock Holmes and Henry James come to America together to solve the mystery of the 1885 death of Clover Adams, wife of the esteemed historian Henry Adams--member of the Adams family that has given the United States two Presidents. Clover's suicide appears to be more than it at first seemed; the suspected foul play may involve matters of national importance. Holmes is currently on his Great Hiatus--his three-year absence after Reichenbach Falls during which time the people of London believe him to be deceased. Holmes has faked his own death because, through his powers of ratiocination, the great detective has come to the conclusion that he is a fictional character. This leads to serious complications for James--for if his esteemed fellow investigator is merely a work of fiction, what does that make him? And what can the master storyteller do to fight against the sinister power -- possibly named Moriarty -- that may or may not be controlling them from the shadows?"--… (mais)
Membro:A.Walter
Título:The Fifth Heart: A Novel
Autores:Dan Simmons (Autor)
Informação:Back Bay Books (2015), Edition: Reprint, 624 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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The Fifth Heart de Dan Simmons (2015)

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Dan Simmons always amazes me. He is an extremely flexible story teller. The Fifth Heart has received some bad reviews and tossed aside as a generally bad book. When you critique a book you have to ask yourself a series of questions. Do the characters stimulate you and how? If you find yourself imagining what the characters look like or if they have personalities akin to someone who might act them out in a film…then chances are they might not be well developed. The characters in The Fifth Heart are very well developed and very visual. He allows you to see them for yourself even though we have a historical basis of them. Simmons is really good at this. Holmes is a wildcard and you have no idea what he is going to do next. James is kind of a puffy, uptight and kind of despicable ninny with an undeveloped and understood latent homosexuality…is he just enamored with the male persona. We have to decide that for ourselves. Simmons has been bashed about his depiction of using dialogue and color and even called racist. This is fiction with a historical framework. The reader cannot expect to read about 19th century characters with a 21st century mindset. That would be grossly inaccurate and just downright blah. This is the whole point of writing. The Fifth Heart is very good at getting this across. Plot wise though it seems that Simmons may have been working on two books and then sort of twisted the plotlines together. I think all writers are guilty of that in some form or another. This book had very little filler (which holds true to most of his work.) Like all of his historical work he is going to put a fictional character in the center of a real happening and leave you wondering if history has told us the whole story and misled us. Was Holmes real or was he not one person but several acting as one while we are being deceived by all of them? An enjoyable book with a good flow. I found it better than Flashback and Better than Black Hills, where his depiction of Custer was just horrible. It is nowhere near the quality and tense nature of Abominable or The Terror and lacks the one, two punch of Carrion Comfort which is a masterpiece. It is hard to compare it to his hardcore sci fi work or his horror pieces which I find are superior in their fields as well. ( )
  Joe73 | Sep 29, 2021 |
Although I really want to give this book four (or five stars), the sluggish pace and the classical style of storytelling restrains me from doing so. This is my second Dan Simmons book - the first being Song of Kali - and I now know why his fans are so polarized.

You see, Song of Kali had perfect pacing, beautiful language, and an engaging story. I was deeply immersed in Simmons' '80s Kolkata. It was, quite easily, one of the best horror novels I've read.

The Fifth Heart starts off on the same promise of something unique, different. Simmons presents a Sherlock Holmes who has come to the realization that he's a fictional character. He's somehow paired with Henry James, an obscure-ish 19th century author. And they're whisked off on an adventure in America, against anarchists and bored, rich men & women.

The problem is the latter. It is these rich men & women that the book heavily focuses on, highlighting their lives in pointlessly excessive details. Simmons spends a lot of time at the dinner table, showing us witty rejoinders and whatnot. I was bored. You have Sherlock Holmes suffering a crisis (of sorts), and what do you do with him: stuff him at a dinner table with rich Americans.

Well, that's not entirely true, but for the most part it is. The pace is plodding at best, suffering with padding of the most inane sort. I could literally skip pages and wouldn't have lost much of the story. Another reviewer had noted that to him it felt that Simmons had put more stock in his research rather than plot. I wholeheartedly agree, though I feel Simmons may have intentionally done this: to create that arduous 19th century narrative style.

The plot is intriguing, and I especially loved the whole metanarrative style going on. Simmons also creates some special and memorable action scenes, though there are too few of them on display here. I also enjoyed the worldbuilding throughout the novel. The author creates a very intimate view of 19th century America and how different the era was from now. I almost felt like I was actually there, which is a difficult feat, to say the least.

As it stands though, I can't really recommend this as a must-read for anyone. It's an interesting premise and decent execution, but the book is disgustingly hindered by its pacing, among other things. If you're a Simmons fan, however, do pick this up. ( )
  bdgamer | Sep 10, 2021 |
It's 1893 and Sherlock Holmes meets Henry James in Paris. Then travel together to the United States to solve the possible mystery of the death in 1885 of Clover Adams, one of the five hearts, and friend to James.
Very enjoyable read.
Received as a free copy from Goodreads ( )
  Vesper1931 | Jul 29, 2021 |
When I was a junior in high school, I wrote a paper on The Red Badge of Courage. I got an A, even though I had never read the book. Didn't use Cliffnotes, just my own natural talent for bullshit. Still haven't read it, and don't plan to. I share this because it is an anecdote involving Stephen Crane that is 200% more relevant to The Fifth Heart than the anecdote involving Stephen Crane that actually appears toward the end of The Fifth Heart.

So many thoughts going through my head right now. This is a book I started three times before it stuck, and now that I've finished it (finally), I'm wishing I hadn't been that tenacious. Here are some things:

--I think Dan Simmons really wanted people to see how much research he did for this book. And I'm impressed! Except Dan, just because a well-known person was alive during the era of your historical fiction, it doesn't obligate you to include them in the narrative. Or should I say, "narrative."

--most likely, I stuck with this book because I thought the premise had promise (groan): Henry James and Sherlock Holmes team up to solve a mystery, except Holmes is suffering an existential crises because he's starting to think he's a fictional character. That sounds cool. Except the actual novel read like one where the author forgets the "am I real" conceit for the most part and goes back and sprinkles a couple (and no more) references to this seemingly CENTRAL part of the premise.

--The "mystery" at the heart of this book is a 300-page red herring. I have no idea how many pages are in this book, but too many of them are spent on the Clover Adams element and not enough on interesting matters. What this book is really about is an assassination attempt on the president, that Holmes must stop. At the Chicago World's Fair. Actually, what this book is really about is how rich folks lived in America after the civil war.

--the author doesn't seem to like Henry James, Sherlock Holmes, or anyone else of the time period in which he's writing. Oh, and he did a lot of research. And if you read this book, you're going to read it all.

There are things here to recommend. I like how he sprinkled very real people and events throughout, I just wish it had been done with some purpose, rather than as narrative tangents. The section that took place in Washington DC was good, for the most part, and the section on the Adams Memorial (Google it, the statue is haunting) was great. But otherwise, if you want to read a fictionalized historical novel, pick anything else. ( )
  allan.nail | Jul 11, 2021 |
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This book is dedicated to Richard Curtis, my invaluable agent and dear friend and fellow fan of both baseball and Mr. Henry James.
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“Wives have a way of dying,” said James.
“Forcing school children to recite a national pledge doesn’t sound very American to me,” said James.
“No,” agreed Holmes. “It sounds German. Very German.”
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" In 1893, Sherlock Holmes and Henry James come to America together to solve the mystery of the 1885 death of Clover Adams, wife of the esteemed historian Henry Adams--member of the Adams family that has given the United States two Presidents. Clover's suicide appears to be more than it at first seemed; the suspected foul play may involve matters of national importance. Holmes is currently on his Great Hiatus--his three-year absence after Reichenbach Falls during which time the people of London believe him to be deceased. Holmes has faked his own death because, through his powers of ratiocination, the great detective has come to the conclusion that he is a fictional character. This leads to serious complications for James--for if his esteemed fellow investigator is merely a work of fiction, what does that make him? And what can the master storyteller do to fight against the sinister power -- possibly named Moriarty -- that may or may not be controlling them from the shadows?"--

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