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Pauline, umschwärmt

von Jonathan Carroll

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338460,413 (3.72)11
When best-selling novelist Sam Boyd starts to write a book about the death of a teenage beauty, Pauline Ostrova, called the beehive, the journey into his past becomes a terrifying jolt into the reality of the present. For many of the people close to him, this leads to devastating consequences.
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Kissing the Beehive is the first of the books in the Crane's View trilogy, the others being The Marriage of Sticks and The Wooden Sea. Unfortunately, I've been reading this books horribly out of order. I read The Wooden Sea first, and I've still not read Marriage of Sticks. Thankfully, they don't need to be read in order, although doing so appears to give Frannie McCabe (the protagonist in the last book) far more dimension.

Kissing the Beehive is much more realistic than most of Jonathan Carroll's books. I'm a bit baffled by others shelving it as magical realism or scifi, as the book lacked both of those facets for me. The book maintains a certain speculative hue, but it's a hue more covered by the mystery that the book is attempting to solve than anything else. There's nothing overtly fantastical within it that I can name offhand.

The book follows Samuel Bayer, a writer, as he decides to drudge up a decades old mystery for a new novel. When he was young he found the body of a girl, Pauline Ostrova, in the Hudson River; her boyfriend was convicted, but some don't believe he committed the crime. Throw in a mysterious femme fatale figure, and threatening notes appearing at each place he goes as he investigates.. and an interesting premise is set.

The book is dedicated to Stephen King, and one can easily see why if they've read his novella "The Body" or even It in some ways. The book deals heavily in identity and the experiences that shut us off from the children we once were. Nostalgia is almost a summery taste on the tongue, interspersed with the harsh cold of a delightfully creepy mystery more "Fatal Attraction" than "The Maltese Falcon." I'm happy to say, Kissing The Beehive was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed, even reading it out of order as I did. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
For some reason this book popped into my head during the week and seeing it on the shelf this morning, realised I had to read it. (This is despite the huge pile of new books I've recently bought.) I've been reading Jonathan Carroll for a number of years and some of his novels I adore and some dont quite fit with me. This is one of the former. Exquisitely written in a wonderfully readable style. Essentially this is a murder mystery, a whodunit, yet somehow as you’d expect with Carroll, it never quite fits into that box. ( )
  theforestofbooks | Nov 29, 2009 |
The bestselling author Sam Bayer is frustrated with how his latest book is turning out. Going back to his childhood roots in the small town of Crane's Village, he comes up with a much better book: he's going to tell the story of Pauline Ostrova, Crane's View's teenage beauty and oddball who was murdered when Bayer was a teen.

Bayer wants to tell her story, find out what really happened. He gets support from Frannie McCabe, the former juvenile delinquent, the current Crane's View police chief (he appears in other Crane's View books as well, so if you like him, read The Wooden Sea where he is the main character) and Veronica Lake, his fan and soon his lover. Veronica appears to be a perfect woman, exactly what Bayer needs - but that is just the first impression.

There are no supernatural elements this time, but plenty of suspense and surprising twists to hold the reader tight. This is some sharp writing. The plot is excellent and the characters are interesting and deep. In my opinion this is one of Carroll's very best works.

(Original review at my review blog) ( )
  msaari | May 5, 2008 |
The most "mainstream" of all Carroll novels. A murder mystery told as only Carroll can tell it. Unique characters, interesting observations, and an appropriatley revealing climax. As with all Carroll novels the women are almost more interesting then the men. Good to see the start of Frannie. ( )
  LastCall | Mar 27, 2006 |
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When best-selling novelist Sam Boyd starts to write a book about the death of a teenage beauty, Pauline Ostrova, called the beehive, the journey into his past becomes a terrifying jolt into the reality of the present. For many of the people close to him, this leads to devastating consequences.

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