Reviews

Run Time by Catherine Ryan Howard

mollycarter7's review against another edition

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dark mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No

3.25

justinkhchen's review against another edition

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4.0

4 stars

A silly, Nolan-esque fun time, Run Time is yet another thriller this year that's not overly concerned with realism and nuanced commentary, instead simply letting its gimmick and campiness takes center stage — and I'm 100% here for the ride! (The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager being the other release this year with a similar tone)

Catherine Ryan Howard has found a way to really '3D chess' Run Time's real life vs. fiction (and vs. fiction, again) premise, and I'm glad the novel is aware of its wacky, outlandish complexity, and occasionally pokes fun of itself through character asides and meta moments alluding to writing, film making, and the thriller genre. To make many of its scenarios work, the book relies heavily on typical thriller tropes (unreliable female narrator alert!); readers who take this book as a 'serious' thriller, expecting clever twists and credible characters, might be rolling their eyes at some of it plot turns and reveals, but I personally find the overall low stake and glaring implausibilities appropriate with its B-movie vibe, and some of its closing moments are quite clever and unexpectedly insightful, concluding the book on a high note.

Overall, Run Time is a definite step up from my last experience with this author (which was The Nothing Man, while it also had the multimedia storytelling structure, the sombre, nonfiction tone has left me cold), and a quick read despite the whopping 500+ page count (the writing is skimming friendly). Check it out if you're looking for something atmospheric, and a little ridiculous.

biancarose88's review against another edition

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challenging dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5

geminidragonbadger's review

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dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? N/A
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.75

bookph1le's review

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1.0

Clarification time: one star because I personally did not like this. YMMV

This isn't the author's fault, but the formatting of this ebook was beyond wonky. The chapters about Adele were fine, but whenever the book changed to excerpts from the script, things got very weird. There were definitely parts missing, so I don't think I can fairly judge that aspect of the book, because I think the formatting issues erased important parts of the script.

However, that said, I thought this book was entirely predictable and didn't offer any payoff. The plot was pretty stock and I didn't think it did enough to develop the characters in a way that could have made it feel like it had a fresh twist.

I do appreciate the feminist notes this author includes in her books. Otherwise, I found this a pretty bog-standard popcorn thriller, which is too bad. I have mixed feelings about Howard's work; either her books don't work for me at all or they really resonate with me. This one did not resonate.

ashleyraemc's review against another edition

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3.0

This was a pretty entertaining thriller, but ultimately doesn't do anything more than that. Don't think too hard about the details and you'll enjoy it.

palmtreesparmar's review against another edition

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mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

stuckinafictionaluniverse's review against another edition

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mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes

2.75

frillyprawn's review against another edition

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1.5

This book gaslit me 

s_tori's review

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mysterious fast-paced

4.0