May 4, 2009

Review: Three bags Full by Leonie Swann

One morning a flock of sheep wakes to find their shepherd, George, with a spade stuck in his belly. In that instant they make the decision to find his killer no matter what. They begin by going over what they know so far relying on Miss Maple, the smartest sheep in their town of Glennkill, Mopple the Whale (he’s a sheep too) who has the best memory and Othello, the black ram who knows about the zoo and the world (author's words, not mine).

They carefully watch everyone who comes and goes while pretending to just be harmless sheep grazing the day away. As they follow the clues their suspect list includes the butcher, the priest, the religious fanatic Beth and Gabriel, another shepherd with a flock of sheep that snubs George’s flock. You can bet that even though some of them are not the brightest sheep in the world they work together and eventually find the true killer.

Oh boy, where to begin on this one?? The first few times I picked up the book I passed right out and I wasn't even counting the sheep. If it wasn’t for the fact that this was my book club selection and we met on Sunday afternoon I wouldn’t have made it past page 50. It finally picked up the pace almost halfway through and the last half somewhat made up for the beginning.

I think that part of the reason I disliked the beginning so much is that the book was originally written in German and translated to English and it didn’t flow well. The writing was a bit off and sometimes I’d have to read the same sentence or paragraph over again for me to get the meaning.

As far as positives I loved the way the sheep were smart but still did normal sheep things like getting into the forbidden vegetable garden and lusting after tomatoes at a picnic. I also loved the way the sheep revealed the killer but overall the story ending itself was pretty bad. I’m putting this one in the do not recommend column.


bermudaonion said...

My book club's last pick wasn't too good either.

Dude said...

Hey Mom,
First Comment here as I'm not much of a novel reader, but I had to check out this book out after you told me a little bit about the plot. I have to say I enjoyed it, probably a little more than you did. I agree the story and ending were a little weak, but I loved all the sheep and their quirky characteristics. It was funny to see how the sheep viewed the humans in the novel too. It puts a neat perspective on what's important in life. Pretty good read.