Crossing the Lines

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Oct 2017

Member Reviews

Two writers in love with the writing. Two characters those writers imagine, create and give life to. Two realities that start of parallel to each other, cross over, intervene, coil and suffocate one another.
Crossing the Lines is a much unexpected story. Seemingly straightforward to begin with, it takes reader on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, assumptions, anxieties and revelations. 
Who can you trust? Are you mad? Is your imagined character more alive than people around you? What is real? Is real really better than imagined?
The book took me, shook me and spat me out feeling torn, spent and hurt. Then, once I had time to simmer on the story, I realised that Crossing the Lines could not have had a happy ending, ever. We cannot possibly prescribe everyone’s actions, decisions and aims. We cannot ride our own stories in a vacuum. People make our stories as much as we make theirs. If writers can control, to an extent, their stories, reality is uncontrollable. 
So, both writers’ retreating into their own imaginary worlds is to be expected. It was a salvation for them, in a way.
People will never fail to disappoint. So, make up your own story. Make sense.
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I was really hoping to like this book. It's unique take on going back and forth from author to character while clever, left me confused. After reading about 50  pages, I had to give up on it.
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This book is an original concept but at times I was confused.

Madeleine is a writer of mystery novels ,and we meet her via  Edward who is writing Madeleine's story, but Madeleine is writing a book about Edward ... yep no wonder I got confused.

With a murder and some mystery I wanted to enjoy this book more. 

I would recommend it but only because it's so different to other novels
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Crossing The Lines is a strange novel - post-modern metafiction. We have a crime writer, Madeleine, writing about a literary fiction writer, Edward, who is in turn writing about a crime writer, Madeleine. Madeleine is having trouble breaking out of her genre and her publisher is not happy with her departure from her successful crime series. Edward finds himself under suspicion of pushing an art critic down the stairs to his death at an art exhibition. 

The two writers engage one another increasingly deeply in their lives, each plotting the other into and out of impossible situations. The circularity is very well done, with the reader never quite clear what is reality and what is plot; whether Madeleine or Edward is the real writer or the character. In truth, they are both the writer and the character at the same time, but with the plot effortlessly slipping from one reality to another.

All this is punctuated heavily with writer in-jokes. The agents, the publishers and their insistence on writing being easily categorisable, the writers' festival with unequal queue lengths at the signing table, the crazy deadlines... Plus, if anyone has ever known a writer they will recognise the wild lurches in plot as the writer changes ideas; minor characters morph into major ones; names change; Madeleine becomes Sri Lankan half way through the piece. It is an absolute riot.

On the debit side, though, the plot (which is not really the main focus of the novel) is quite hard to follow. In fact, that's an understatement. It is nigh on impossible to follow. But the individual fragments are so enjoyable that it hardly matters whether they really fit together. And there's almost no realism except for the tortured minds of the writers.

The ending, when it comes, is really clever and witty - and feels quite satisfying even if it does leave the reader wondering just what happened.
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Here is an excellent venture into the mind of a writer and mind of a character interacting. I've actually had conversations with my characters before... but not like this!

Excellent writing, but not so great an ending. I felt very deflated and disappointed. I guess, if I had read any other of her books, I might have been prepared for this kind of ending. This was my first read of hers and I completely and enthusiastically enjoyed it all the way to the last chapter, maybe last 2 chapters.

The characters are so well developed the transitions seem to be transparent. Head hopping is not really noticeable. That is the mark of an excellent writer. Description is not overpowering, but so deft that the authors places you right in the scene. You're sitting on the sofa, or the in the garden, or in the car, or at the bistro drinking coffee while they story moves around you. In fact it gets to the point where you aren't sure who is the real deal and who is the character. 

The plot is quite intriguing, and the murder really isn't a murder--or is it really murder? You'll have to read to find out. 

This one is a keeper.
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This was an interesting novel it was about writers, artists and a murder. Madeleine d’Leon was a lawyer and a writer of crime novels. When Madeline was writing she became totally absorbed and spent most of her days in her pyjamas. 
Edward McGinnity was a literary writer, Madeleine wrote about Edward and gradually added background information to explain why he behaved the way he did at the same time Edward was writing about Madeleine.
The novel switches back and forward between Madeleine and Edward. Edward tries to clear himself as a murder suspect and Madeleine tries to convince her husband she is not suffering from depression.
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Crossing the Lines by Sulari Gentill is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late July.

Madeleine has a mind to create a literary character that is an author (yes, a book within a book) that solves crime. He just happens to be named Edward, like a man she knows in her personal life. This makes it fairly hard to separate her life from fake Edward's, not to mention the other many, many characters, and their smart, critical, biting dialogues.
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Madeline is a successful author with a great series. Her publicist cannot understand what she is doing wrting a completely different type of story where Edward is the main character and involved with a murder. She is completely wrapped up in writing Edward's story. 
Edward is writing a story about Madeline and her life and what she is going through in trying to write in spite of her publicist and her husband. He loves his long time friend, Willow though she is married to a man he does not like. There is a murder and several mysteries to come to light. 
Madeline and Edward become so close that they seem to be physically there when needed by the other one. Who is the real writer? How will the story end?
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Cannot review. Cannot complete book with the hand writing at the end. Help!!
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Crossing the Lines blurs fiction and fantasy. Two people both writing the other as a character in their story. Who is the writer and who is the character? This was a beautifully written story that will make you appreciate the art of writing fiction.
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