Official Review: Lonely Expiation by Siegfried Finser

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Latest Review: Lonely Expiation by Siegfried Finser

Official Review: Lonely Expiation by Siegfried Finser

Post by daniya__shah3 » 28 Aug 2018, 07:27

[Following is an official review of "Lonely Expiation" by Siegfried Finser.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Books with a single protagonist generally offer a narrative which is bildungsroman in nature. However, when this character is stoic, the development is close to zero. Lonely Expiation by Siegfried Finser is a surprising puzzle. Armand Dillon, the protagonist, is not a hero. He is rather an anti-hero whose progression is backwards. The story focuses on his dire need for social acceptance in an upper class culture. However, the means he uses to achieve is goal is quite twisted. For him, social acceptance is an equivalent to building contacts and neglecting emotions because 'feelings pollute intellect'. Through his manipulative ways, he attempts to trick his friends and enemies, eventually falling into his own trap.

The theme of class and social hierarchy is central to the plot. Interestingly enough, Armand doesn't belong to any class, he is a 'class himself'. I loved how the author has formed the characters. Even though there is close to little development in his character arc, Armand is still a pretty believable character. The phrases and expressions used to describe him are quite vivid. Through my reading of the text, I was able to picture a stone-like character with a frown permanently etched upon his face, devoid of any feelings. The narrative also reminded me of the concept of 'hamartia' introduced by Aristotle.

Another thing which I liked was the characterisation of Rachel. She is a contrasting character against the others from the elite class. She has been portrayed as a headstrong and rebellious young woman who doesn't prioritise class over her desires. However, she stands as a weak card for Armand to use against her family.

Apart from this, there was one thing which filled me with disappointment. The book seems as if it is not professionally edited. I was able to spot various misspellings along with misused punctuation and improper paragraph spacing. Editing is a crucial factor and it affects the readership to the extent where the reader might put down a good book due to frustration.

I am going to give this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. The story is certainly good enough to be recommended to others who might be interested in exploring unique themes such as artificial intelligence, consumer psychology and balanced idealism in the form of fiction. Apart from the multitude of errors, the plot is really well constructed. So, if you can handle a good read without minding the editing, go ahead.

Lonely Expiation
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Post by OrlaCarty » 04 Sep 2018, 03:47

I love the idea of a backward character progression when the plot is centered around hierarchy, intelligence and class. Thank you for the interesting review!

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Post by Amystl26 » 04 Sep 2018, 11:17

Thanks for the review. I'm with OrlaCarty. . . I love backward character progression as well as concepts surrounding artificial intelligence (spooky!). His lack of character development may start to get on nerves, though. The well-developed plot may make up for this; however, I tend to become lured in by my ability to relate to characters. Thanks again!

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Post by AliceofX » 05 Sep 2018, 10:13

daniya__shah3 wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 07:27
Even though there is close to little development in his character arc, Armand is still a pretty believable character.
It makes sense. From what you described the character seems like a manipulative narcissist and those people never really change. Only a hero can grow because he's willing to learn and change his ways.

Anyway, you wrote a nice review. Made the story seem really interesting.

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Post by Jaime Lync » 19 Dec 2018, 16:51

Great review. I would like to know if this was strictly a third person narrative or if there were areas that had blocks of first-person narratives. Once again, I really enjoyed this review. Thanks for sharing.

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Post by Lunastella » 16 Jan 2019, 20:11

I love character-driven stories and the fact that this one goes backward makes it much more interesting.
The issue of class intrigues me because it differs a lot from culture to culture.
Thank you for a concise and honest review.

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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 17 Jan 2019, 03:46

You give a great impression of how the protagonist deals with a rigid structure by running counter to it, becoming an anti-hero whose psychological development runs backwards. Thank you for an articulate review.

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Post by Kajori50 » Today, 03:44

The idea of a protagonist who is an anti-hero, and whose progression is backwards is pretty intriguing.

Thank you for the great review.

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