Official Review: Strangers In Another Country

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Rachaelamb1
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Official Review: Strangers In Another Country

Post by Rachaelamb1 »

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Strangers In Another Country" by Lawrence G. Taylor.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Strangers in Another Country by Lawrence G. Taylor is a historical fiction compilation containing two short stories and two novellas. These stories all have a similar thread about being a foreigner, racism, and relationships.

In the first story, “A Day in the Life of Mr. Charlie Cheddar”, Charlie is a man from the West Indies living in London. For three years he has kept to himself, but after being befriended by a man named Julian, he has given up his solitude. Now Julian is setting him up on a date and he is beyond anxious.

In “Betty and the Black Puppy”, Betty is a young Scottish woman living in England with her boyfriend, David. One day she rescues a puppy from danger and brings it home. Anxiously, she awaits David’s return for she knows he is not fond of animals.

In the novella “Binky’s Reverie”, Binky Brown is a man from the West Indies visiting his friends, Linda and Kerstin, in a small Swedish town. His plan is to win the heart of Linda while he is there, even though she has made it clear in the past that she has no romantic interest in him.

In “Strangers in Another Country”, Moby is a West Indian living in Sweden. He is out walking when he spies another Black man coming his way. They stop to talk for a moment which turns into a lengthy conversation about their life, racism in different countries, and more.

The storylines of each of these are quite simple and the focus is largely on style and philosophy. The author captures his characters’ personality and thoughts in an eloquent manner. The writing style is along the same lines as older classics which may be a positive for some and a negative for others. Personally, I both like and dislike the writing style. I find it interesting and amusing in a way, yet it also causes me to lose interest more quickly.

With the exception of “Binky’s Reverie”, I am disappointed with the way the stories end. They feel incomplete even for being short stories and I wish there was more to them. A lot of time is spent on the back history of characters or describing their thoughts on life, but there is not much in the way of a plot.

The stories take place in the 1960’s when there was a lot of discrimination toward black people in many countries. I found the parts about Sweden especially interesting since it is not a country I have read much about. This book has left me with the desire to learn more about what life is like for foreigners in other countries now.

My rating for Strangers in Another Country is 3 out of 4 stars. I enjoyed reading it and felt like I learned something, but the stories are not without flaws. In addition to some typographical errors, there are slow parts due to heavy wording and unsatisfying endings. I recommend these stories to people who love philosophical writing about racism, relationships, or life in general.

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Strangers In Another Country
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Post by hsimone »

I enjoyed reading your review, Rachaelamb1! I'm not sure if this book is for since I would also want more plot than just back stories, just like you said. However, it does sound like a unique compilation. Great review!
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Post by Rachaelamb1 »

hsimone wrote:I enjoyed reading your review, Rachaelamb1! I'm not sure if this book is for since I would also want more plot than just back stories, just like you said. However, it does sound like a unique compilation. Great review!
Thank you!
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Post by e-tasana-williams »

Great review. Too bad the stories were not fleshed out more. It *is* interesting to read stories written about people who find themselves away from their home country for whatever reason. It gives the author a way to explore culture, language, even humor in ways that don't always work in other situations.
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Post by Rachaelamb1 »

Eatsleaves wrote:Great review. Too bad the stories were not fleshed out more. It *is* interesting to read stories written about people who find themselves away from their home country for whatever reason. It gives the author a way to explore culture, language, even humor in ways that don't always work in other situations.
That is true and I always find stories about other cultures fascinating. But then I live in a foreign country so that may have something to do with it :)
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Post by Vermont Reviews »

Eatsleaves wrote:Great review. Too bad the stories were not fleshed out more. It *is* interesting to read stories written about people who find themselves away from their home country for whatever reason. It gives the author a way to explore culture, language, even humor in ways that don't always work in other situations.

Excellent Review

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Post by Rachaelamb1 »

Thanks!
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Post by lgt41 »

Thank you, Rachaelamb1, for reviewing my book. I appreciate your honesty and conviction. Needless to mention, my initial reaction was negative, but the mood has long left me.
Regards,
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Post by bookowlie »

I enjoyed reading your thorough, honest review. The book sounds interesting with themes of being a foreigner and racism in the 1960's. Glad you enjoyed the book and learning about life in Sweden, despite the issues you mentioned.
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Post by Vermont Reviews »

Glad this one was picked for book of the day. I had previously read and reviewed this book.

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Post by klbradley »

I'm not usually a fan of groups of novellas together to tell a story, but this sounds like a good one! Thank you for sharing!
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Post by purplepeepleeater »

4 stories in 1, I like that! Always interests me to read about how people are treated in places other than America.
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Post by mindyg123 »

Great review and I will have to read it for myself to see if I agree that they're lacking in plot. Thanks for the heads up.
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Post by Silvermoon »

The writing style you mention doesn't appeal to me. I don't believe this is something I would enjoy reading. Thank you for the honest review.
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Post by Strangerthanfiction »

Great review. While I don't generally read historical fiction very often, the description of the book caught my attention. I appreciate how frank and thorough your review is. Thank you :)
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