Book Review: The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
Published by HarperCollins on 2014-03-04
Genres: Fiction, General, Literary, Psychological
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: HarperCollins

A wondrous and redemptive debut novel, set in a stark world where evil and magic coincide, The Enchanted combines the empathy and lyricism of Alice Sebold with the dark, imaginative power of Stephen King.

“This is an enchanted place. Others don’t see it, but I do.”

I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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My Review:

The Enchanted simply blew me away.  Seriously, folks, since when does a book about death row completely knock someone down, because that’s what happened to me with this one.  I went into it thinking there would be a whole Green Mile vibe and walked away feeling as if I’d been suckerpunched.  Not only did this book completely absorb me, it made me reconsider everything I thought I knew about pre-judging a person.

The Enchanted  is part real-life and part-fairytale, but a fairytale of the darker variety.  We are introduced to a nameless narrator, a man who is in a cell waiting for his death.  He is a voracious reader and, as the story unfolds, while he doesn’t reveal all of what he’s done there, it gets to the point where it doesn’t even matter anymore.  Who we do get to really know, though, are several other characters whose lives unfold in front of that one prisoner, in a sense.

The Enchanted  is a place where strange things happen.  There is a lot of symbolism in this book and it’s impossible to catch it and understand it all on the first read-through.  But it doesn’t matter, because the stories being told about the lives of those in the book are enough to carry momentum until the end of the book comes – and it does come quite suddenly.

I think that this is a book that would touch anyone who decided to pick it up and give it a shot.  It’s unusual, but not so strange that it would put off a casual reader.  If anything, it’ll make that casual reader more interested in the fate of the narrator and the other prison guards, inmates, priests, and investigators.  The Enchanted is a very profound, elegant look at a life that isn’t really a life at all.  And whose fault is that?

Check out these reviews!

  • “Though this turned out to be something so different from what I expected, I ended up being completely drawn in and totally enjoying it in the end.” – It’s All About Books…
  • “I’d say read it with caution, but definitely give it a try if you can handle the content and like lit fic.”  – Book Hooked
  • “While it’s not the type of book that I could read often, The Enchanted made me think.  ” –Books Without Any Pictures

 

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