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jmfrancis
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Registered: ‎12-15-2006
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Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton

[ Edited ]
I enjoyed the book. I'd give it a 4 out of 5 rating. There were a couple of times I was distracted by the bizarre, but for the most part I thorough enjoyed meeting the ancestors and characters in the town. I could have done without the ghost manifestations as they became more insistant and oviously a force to be reconded with, but was able to overlook that and enjoy the book none the less. Thanks for the advance reading, I enjoyed it.

Message Edited by jmfrancis on 10-22-2007 08:53 PM
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HikerGirlSeattle
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Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton

Wonderful storyline. Great character development. Twists and turns that make you want more.
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lumps
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Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton

I give this book a 4-star rating. When it first began with the monster, I did not think I would like it and felt myself resisting going further. However, once I got into it, I found that I just had to keep reading. I wasn't all that interested in the early family history, and while it was interesting, to me it did not add to the main question of who is Willie's father.

Although I really liked the book, I am probably the only one in my large circle of reader friends who would feel the same way about it.

Congratulations to Lauren Groff for realizing her dream and getting her first novel published. I wish you much success when it comes out for sale to the general public.
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Popper19
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Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton

I give this book a 4.5 rating. Although, I'm not normally one to enjoy any supernatural stuff, the portions in this book were not overwhelming. I absolutely loved all of the different historical voices. The different characters and story lines really kept the book moving fast for me. This book is definitely something different from those I've read recently. There is a lot of depth here! I never re-read books, but I will definitely purchase a copy of this book when it releases and read it again. I will also be recommending this book to all my reader friends.

Thanks for the opportunity to participate in this book club, it has been an exceptional experience.
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obxreader
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Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton

 
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firbette
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Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton

Man, I really feel like the Grinch here! I'm afraid that I would give the book as it now stands 2 stars. It felt like the book could use another draft, to smooth out some of the awkwardness in the transitions between various characters and time periods, and a strict copy editor, to catch some of the odd repetitions within paragraphs, or even sentences. I know I should be citing examples, but I finished the book a couple of weeks ago, and have read a few since. Next time I promise to take notes! But this is the lingering impression I have of the book, and I think that's an important aspect of the reading experience, too. It's what you would tell your friends about it. I do think there's a good book in there; it justs needs a little more help to come out. Sorry to be so hard on it.
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fordmg
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Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton

Rating: 3
The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff

This first novel by Ms Groff uses a number of writing tricks that are intreging. Flashbacks add a nice historical touch. Some of the story seems contrived. There are a lot of characters for a short book, but Ms Groff does a good job of bringing the story out. The story explores family relationships, especially mother/daughter, but all includes extended family. An interesting read.

Also recommended: Water for Elephants.

MG
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cjwedding
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Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton

Monsters of Templeton
Rating--3.5
Digging Through Family History
I for the most part really enjoyed the book. I loved the Chapters about Cinnamon and Charlotte. I have to admit I got confused towards the latter half of the book regarding who everyone was. I think my least favorite chapter was the one about Natty Bumpo. The book felt rushed towards the end where you are finding out who killed Marmaduke. I would have liked more time with Willie, Vi, Solomon, and Zeke at the end of the book. It seems to me there is more that could be written. I guess the story was just written so well that I was not ready for it to be over.

Thank you for allowing us to read this ARC and appreciating our input.

Christina
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katknit
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Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton

[ Edited ]
5 stars

The danger in reading The Monsters of Templeton lies in interpreting things too literally. At heart, this is a coming of age story involving a heroine a bit older than most in the coming of age genre. Willie has had an unorthodox upbringing in a town that, immediately below its surface, is as unorthodox as they come. Its founding, its founder, its history, its long-term inhabitants, and its current persona are all unusual, to say the least. Some have characterized Willie as immature. I view her as a young woman caught between two worlds, two times, who is trying to find her self and her destiny, both within her family history and outside of it. And, by returning to her formerly despised hometown, and by allowing Templeton to be itself, and by utilizing her own formidable education to delve into her own ancestry regardless of what it might reveal, Willie does manage to set herself on the right path. She comes to terms with her past, her present, and, as much as possible, with her future. If that isn't magical, I don't know what is.
Congratulations to author Groff for producing a strong piece of literature her first time out.

Message Edited by katknit on 10-23-2007 06:58 PM
No two persons ever read the same book. [Edmund Wilson]
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Jo6353
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Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton



Maria_H wrote:

  • Headline for your review






  • What do you mean by Headline? Jo
    Distinguished Bibliophile
    KathyS
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    Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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    Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton



    Jo6353 wrote:


    Maria_H wrote:

  • Headline for your review






  • What do you mean by Headline? Jo



    A Headliner....as in a newspaper/article headline.
    Great Read!
    Loved Lauren Groff's Debut!
    Wonderful Literary Contribution!
    Would Recommend!
    A few examples, just to put the reader in sink with what you're about to say. :smileyhappy:
    Contributor
    Mia_C
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    Registered: ‎08-11-2007
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    Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton

    3.5: insightful and thoughtful

    This reads almost like a journal. It gives an intimate view into a person's life and the lives of the people around her. The pace is deliberate and reflective. The characters I loved the most were the residents of Templeton, particularly the Buds (special mention to Clarissa, though). The little snippets you read about their lives make you crave for more. They're not flashy, but there's a quiet dignity about many of the characters.

    There is the added bonus of solving the mystery together with the main character. You get little clues along the way so it gives you motivation to keep reading.

    I do agree that it needs a final proofreading and editing to catch a few typographical and other errors which interrupt the flow of reading the book. I assume this is not the actual final draft for publication or I hope it's not.
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    4Marie
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    Registered: ‎01-30-2007
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    Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton

    [ Edited ]
    4 Stars

    This was a great read! The characters were truly believable and sympathetic. I, too, wondered why the name Cooperstown was not used. I never knew if I was supposed to think of the town as Cooperstown or the fictitious Templeton. Loved the use of the lake monster throughout the novel. It was a great thread to tie everything up!

    Message Edited by 4Marie on 10-23-2007 11:47 PM
    Retired and reading
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    WikkedMix
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    Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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    Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton

    4.5 stars for The Monsters of Templeton!

    I found it a fast read and enjoyed the different personality quirks that each character had. The twists and turns of geneaology that threaded through the story had my attention!

    S.J. Montgomery
    Houston, TX
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    FaerieKissed
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    Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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    Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton

    I give it three stars.

    The novel was a good read, but predictable. I really enjoyed the historical flavor of the book, but wasn't as interested in the modern day story. The monster in the lake just didn't tie in for me. I liked the author's style and loved the photos and revised family trees. I appreciate the research that must have gone into this book and want to visit Cooperstown myself after reading this book.

    This book reminded me of The Last Days of Dog Town by Anita Diamant because of the historical atmosphere and the switching of points of view among the characters.
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    HannibalCat
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    Registered: ‎10-25-2006
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    Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton

    A 5 star rating from me.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The mood, the characters (human and non), were so alive I found myself connecting not only to Willie, but other characters as well. I could feel the mood wrap itself around me as memories of my own life intruded. Definitely a book a would recommend to others.
    Inspired Contributor
    Jo6353
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    Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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    Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton



    KathyS wrote:


    Jo6353 wrote:


    Maria_H wrote:

  • Headline for your review






  • What do you mean by Headline? Jo



    A Headliner....as in a newspaper/article headline.
    Great Read!
    Loved Lauren Groff's Debut!
    Wonderful Literary Contribution!
    Would Recommend!
    A few examples, just to put the reader in sink with what you're about to say. :smileyhappy:


    Thanks Kathy!
    Contributor
    ejohaneman
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    Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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    Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton

    **** 4 Star
    The most original work I have read in a long time if not ever. The different voices threw me off at first, new to me, but I realized, as I read that the many voices added so much meat to the novel. Good Work Lauren.
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    schance
    Posts: 2
    Registered: ‎04-23-2007
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    Re: Your Reviews of The Monsters of Templeton

    Unique and Interesting Female Characters

    I give this book a 4.5. It was so interesting that I read it all in one night. I loved the uniqueness of the female characters. Strong and individual. I felt that the problem with the professor and the school was solved a little too quickly and easily, but the focus of the book was on her quest to find out who she really was. I really liked the periodic updates in the family tree. I have read some books that only had on family tree at the beginning, and I had to keep flipping back to it to figure things out. It was also kind of like a puzzle being put together. I really enjoyed this book and will look forward to others by this author. Thanks!
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    Kristin14
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    Registered: ‎09-07-2007
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    Family Secrets, History and Mythology Intertwine in Engaging First Novel

    4 stars out of 5

    Lauren Groff's first novel, The Monsters of Templeton, is an engrossing love letter to her hometown of Cooperstown, NY. Groff takes the reader through a page-turning romp through hundreds of years of history, as her main character, Willie Upton, plumbs the rich resources of the (real) New York State Historical Association, and her personal family archives, to expose the secrets and truths of her family history and the origins of her town. The novel highlights the joy of historical research, and explores the notions of historical "truths." It's also a revelatory critique of the foundations of America -- we tend to celebrate our founders when in truth they were imperfect humans like the rest of us, many with great flaws we criticize today. These are some of the many "monsters" of the title.

    Keeping MOT from a five-star rating is that the rationale for Willie's research project into her family wobbles a little. Her mother, Vi, knows who Willie's father is, but instead of telling her, sends Willie on a search through history. That Willie needs this process for her own healing is briefly indicated at the end. If the novel crystallized this a bit earlier, or if Vi's motivation related more to her curiuosity about genealogical rumours concerning Willie's father, this might have more strongly propelled the narrative. We learn that Vi not only knew who Willie's father was, but ultimately had heard reference to a key secret Willie uncovers. If Vi knew less, perhaps that would have satisfied this concern. It's minor and did not detract from my adoration of this novel, but it's also something that wouldn't take a lot of reworking to address.

    If you like A.S. Byatt's _Possession_ (a 5 star book), you will also love the _Monsters of Templeton_. You will also appreciate MOT if you are an historian or museum professional!
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