Camino Island

Camino Island

Book - 2017
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Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts. Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer's block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable's circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets. But eventually Mercer learns far too much.
Publisher: New York, New York : Doubleday, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780385543026
Characteristics: 290 pages ;,24 cm.

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A theft of priceless books from a library, a book dealer who dabbles in the black market of stolen manuscripts, and a novelist who is recruited for a daring mission all add up to what sounds like the ideal beach read.


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b
Bookworm1562
Nov 27, 2017

Camino Island is the ideal beach read. It brought me back to my favorite hideaway. This is a much different book from Grisham. I learned a lot about the world of books - writing and collecting. I liked it. He left it wide open for a sequel as well.

p
pgmarra
Nov 10, 2017

Once in a while, I disagree with the author's hero. This book is one of those big time. This book is not for me.

j
jaycrossing
Nov 09, 2017

I read this book before reading The Rooster Bar by same author. If you haven't read The Rooster Bar yet, it's about the high cost of law school tuition and three pals who scam the scammers. Reflecting back on reading Camino Island which is about the "fictionalized" Princeton University owning original manuscripts of F. Scott Fitzgerald worth millions of dollars, guarded and kept under lock and key, and although I realize the book is fiction, if universities have become serious collectors of rare pieces of literature locked away where very few are allowed to peruse, what do these collections benefit the average college student? Perhaps we've discovered a connection (one of just many) to the outrageous tuition challenge. Spoiler Alert: The book collector who buys the stolen manuscripts gets off scott-free, the University absorbs the loss along with the insurance company, and ultimately the cost is passed on to consumers . . . where has that happened before? I'm becoming less and less of a Grisham fan with each book. I actually finished the book but it was a disappointment. My advice to Grisham is . . . come back to the typewriter and exorcise the ghostwriters!

a
anderloo
Nov 08, 2017

Almost a short story, this book is a long way from Grisham's earlier books for which he is well known, but I liked it as a beach story. For the protagonist to make such an egregious mistake to keep the plot going 'jumped the shark' for me. I can't help but think how hard it must be for author's to keep up with their own past success.

k
kb726
Oct 14, 2017

An overall disappointment.

m
mltopacio
Oct 13, 2017

I have read all of Grisham's books and I had to wait a long time for this one. However, a big disappointment! Sometimes a writer can be too prolific and instead of spinning out another book with hundreds patiently waiting for it, it might be better to wait until you have a feasible plot. Usually, I like Grisham's approach; his characters are often bold and decisive; often doing the unexpected with challenges they must overcome each step of the way. But the plot of Camino Island had three weak building blocks (which I won't divulge so as not to spoil the book for Grisham fans) and these caused me to lose major interest in the seriousness of the the entire book. So thumbs down for me!

s
Sandee
Oct 09, 2017

First book I've read by this author. Found it to be a good summer read -- involving books (being stolen, written, sold, read, discussed), writers (some successful, some struggling -- but all with lots to say), walks along the beach (past and present), and a central character (Mercer) who finds herself caught up in much more than she expects. The ending leaves a few things to the reader's imagination (and that was fine with me).

a
ailenemc
Oct 04, 2017

Not his best but an entertaining read with an interesting twist at the end. Not sure how I feel about that.

m
matcat44
Sep 29, 2017

At first I thought "John Grisham" is back. Then the plot got more and more ponderous, and somewhat implausible, didn't care enough to finish it. Too bad.

j
jimg2000
Sep 25, 2017

Enjoyed this Grisham novel more than Gray Mountain. This time, the story began with a crew of criminals pulled off a daring caper that involved a set of rare manuscripts at Princeton U. As the FBI pursued their leads, the insurance investigators recruited a debt ridden writer who was an adjunct professor in UNC to befriend a person of interest, a charismatic bookstore owner on Camino Island in Florida. During the pursuit to solve and recover the stolen manuscript, readers learned about the worlds of rare book collectors/crimes/middlemen, muses of writers, book tours and book retailing. Interesting. easy and fast pace read.

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j
jimg2000
Sep 25, 2017

Only 9 quotes in goodreads. Here are a few more:

“I did manage to ditch my prologue, add quotation marks to my dialogue, take out the big words, and I would have cut some more but there’s not enough to cut.”
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I learned with my first novel that writing books is far easier than selling them.
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Writers are generally split into two camps: those who carefully outline their stories and know the ending before they begin, and those who refuse to do so upon the theory that once a character is created he or she will do something interesting.

j
jimg2000
Sep 25, 2017

Deep in the Left Bank of Paris, in the heart of the 6th arrondissement on Rue St.-Sulpice, Monsieur Gaston Chappelle ran a tidy little bookshop that had changed little in twenty-eight years. Such stores are scattered throughout the center of the city, each with a different specialty. Monsieur Chappelle’s was rare French, Spanish, and American novels of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Two doors down, a friend dealt only in ancient maps and atlases. Around the corner, another traded in old prints and letters written by historic figures.

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