[Epub] ❧ A Decent Ransom: A Story of a Kidnapping Gone Right By Ivana Hruba – Horse-zine.co.uk

A Decent Ransom: A Story of a Kidnapping Gone Right chapter 1 A Decent Ransom: A Story of a Kidnapping Gone Right, meaning A Decent Ransom: A Story of a Kidnapping Gone Right, genre A Decent Ransom: A Story of a Kidnapping Gone Right, book cover A Decent Ransom: A Story of a Kidnapping Gone Right, flies A Decent Ransom: A Story of a Kidnapping Gone Right, A Decent Ransom: A Story of a Kidnapping Gone Right 364c59f00b66d Available To Download From , Smashwords, Barnes Noble Etc On The NetEssentially A Tale Of Redemption, The Contemporary, Fast Paced Thriller Blends Pathos With Intrigue, Drawing The Reader Into The Private World Of A Vulnerable Fifteen Year Old Boy, Who Believes Himself To Be The Keeper Of A Kidnapped Woman Against All Odds, The Two Forge An Alliance With Dire Consequences For Some


10 thoughts on “A Decent Ransom: A Story of a Kidnapping Gone Right

  1. says:

    Very very clever and creative Ivana keeps you guessing and finally delivers a satisfying ending As an author, she ll do just fine and I look forward to books I hope she turns traditional in one of the future books I would love to see her prose talent in basic form.cheersPEJ


  2. says:

    In her first adult novel, author Ivana Hruba tells the story of a kidnapping gone awry I suppose saying so beckons a definition of a successful kidnapping, which would depend on one s perspective as either the kidnapper or the kidnapped We have in A Decent Ransom the perspectives of both It is perhaps, then, up to the reader to determine if the unusual twists in this particular kidnapping end well or not and I don t intend to give the twists away entirely This something of a roller coaster ride of perspectives is both the strength and weakness of Hruba s novel Three cheers for the juggling it requires for an author to switch adeptly between one character to another, one perspective to another That s a trick, and Hruba, mostly, carries it off with skill and gusto Where she misses, and that juggled plate comes on occasion crashing to the floor, is by using first person I for ALL perspectives, ALL characters Since we are talking about a relatively large number of characters, this can lead to unnecessary confusion The chapters are usually not too long, and each chapter tends to switch characters and perspectives Maybe my mind is aging, but for me, this meant that I had to read sometimes as much as a full paragraph into the chapter before I could identify through which character s eyes I was now peering More than once, this would force me to read to identify, then go back to the beginning again and read the same text a second time for context, now that I knew who was talking That s just awkward If the author really wants to write always in first person, then perhaps a chapter s heading might work as an identifier That gripe aside, we can get to the good news A Decent Ransom is well written, fresh, fun, creative Hruba knows what she s doing on a keyboard Her characters have shape and color and voice They are capable of pulling heart strings as well as tickling funny bones It works They work And, that rare jewel too few writers wear Hruba has it pinned front and center She can tell a story and she can also tell it well two markedly different skills Sample this The hundred thousand dollar question has the face of a sad clown balancing across a tightly stretched rope One false step and The boy is no fool He waits patiently Slumped in the corner like a bag of wet clothes, he evokes the smell of familiar things Chopped garlic Cold pie Lonely old men Pool shop owners dissatisfied with marriage Burnt oil and burgers Hair grease Jasmine tea And somewhere in between, there s Bid Steaming like a bucket of warm pee in the hot, dusty weather, he pumps petrol Up and down, the old fashioned way he cleans the windscreens Smiling at the tourists but watching me Always watching His eyes like a fish s His cheeks like an old woman s ass His hands like a turtle s claws And always I said no See what I mean Bravo Hruba plays on all the reader s senses and that s what makes a story memorable Add a quirky storyline of kidnapped young wife, straying husband, simple minded kidnapper, the used or is she the user mistress, the abusive partner in crime, the oriental stripper, stir it up with intrigue and revenge, and you are in for a fun ride As long as you can keep them all straight enjoy


  3. says:

    Intoxicating Whirlwind of a NovelIvana Hrub is a mesmerizingly clever, witty, intelligent, gifted writer A DECENT RANSOM is not only a wholly well spun tale of a bungled kidnap caper which is not what it initially appears to be, but it is also an exercise in creative writing that places Hrub in a high echelon of contemporary writers One of the many aspects of Hrub s writing that marks her as an artist of note is her ability to create a varied cast of characters from young teenagers to old men sugar daddies and used loose women, immigrants with issues particular to their backgrounds to average middle class couples in brittle relationships, older relatives with perversions to women with neuroses psychoses who converse with their alter egos And in bringing such animation to vivid life, Hrub elects to allow the reader to hear from each of these many characters, divided for convenience into individual brief chapters, in the first person singular Rarely have characters bristled with life as vibrant as the strange folks involved in A DECENT RANSOM Phoebus is a young teenager without parents who lives with his half brother Kenny, a wreck of a guy whose time is spent drinking and carousing with a Chinese pole dancing call girl called Janelle though her given name is Mai Lin who in turn entertains men while being in love with her fellow pole dancer Lien Needing money from Kenny the girls tolerate their jobs and their needs drive Kenny to dream up a kidnapping caper that will supply money for all their desires Phoebus is Kenny s devoted accomplice and together they kidnap pithy Kathryn thinking that her husband Rupert will pay a ransom for her return Of course everything goes awry when the kidnapped Kathryn discovers her husband s infidelities with Janelle and old Zelda and a separate scheme develops to reverse the roles of perpetrators After many twists and turns in the plot, brought to brilliant life by the fact that we are privy to the thoughts and vantages of each of the characters, the story winds to a surprising and satisfying climax Hrub has a way with conversation, not only allowing the young Phoebus to speak in the innocent voice of a forgotten youth, but also in presenting the wisely phonetic mispronunciations by the German immigrants and the Chinese girls Some authors try this and the flow of the story halts while the reader attempts to adjust to the varied verbiage But Hrub keeps things clipped to short chapters and offers just enough information with each character s voice to allow the reader to stay on track other authors using this technique often offer a smorgasbord of dialects and chapter changes to match that prevents consuming a hearty meal Originally from the Czech Republic, Ivana Hrub now lives and writes in Australia and there are suggestions that her story does indeed take place in Australia despite the fact the it all seems so universal that it could happen anywhere This is definitely an author to watch, a welcome new and original voice If this book isn t captured for a screenplay it will be a big surprise Grady Harp


  4. says:

    Phoebus is a good, simple minded backwoods kid who idolizes his big brother Kenny Kenny, not much brighter, is full of spunk, full of himself, and full of plans His plans generally revolve around getting away from the small town he grew up in and being someone His father but not Phoebus was a small time crook, and Kenny dreams of being , of pulling off something big.The central plan of the story is the title caper, a ransom job, and, despite the title, it does not go decently for all The novel weaves through a handful of narratives, different small town pairings, that slowly coalesce into a rich tapestry of intrigues, betrayals, and failures Each point of view is distinctly rendered, and the different perspectives on shared events add depth to both the characters and the novel as a whole, especially as things build to a head.The voice drew me in, and if you have some qualms about their capabilities and the central caper, don t worry all will be revealed.My favorite viewpoint was that of Mai Lin aka Janelle , who has dreamlike visions She and her friend lover Lien are Chinese strippers who live above their club their club or the club where they work , doing the odd trick on the side They, of course, have a dark secret, and Kenny s story is wound in with that as well A good number of colorful characters are realized throughout the novel, all with their own stories, most looking for a way to change their lives Everyone dreams of leaving, one way or another some make their own plans some pounce on opportunities and some just hope.My least favorite point of view was that of the kidnappee, Kathryn, though she did grow on me with time I felt her mental issues were treated a little too simplistically, given how much of the plot hinged on her choices and actions On the other hand, enough context was given to make her mental space plausible enough but that was the main aspect of this novel that stretched my credulity.One complaint meta to the story to itself is that the dialog was not visually separated from the narrative That s not a conceit I enjoy, and it took me close to half the book to really get comfortable with it and stop noticing that there weren t quote marks around the spoken pieces I really didn t see the point of that choice, and expect it s just a case of different backgrounds if it was important to the telling, I missed why.All in all, A Decent Ransom is engrossing I highly recommend letting it grow on you and sampling its varied fruits.Disclaimer The review copy was provided free of charge and will be retained by the reviewer.


  5. says:

    A DECENT RANSOM is a story of a kidnapping gone right according to the tag on the book More than that it s a story about a bit of a misfit that somehow ends up okay, despite all the odds being stacked against him.The storyline is pretty simple to start off with two young as is revealed half brothers, each a misfit in his own right, coming from a totally dysfunctional background, live in the dire circumstances that their mother deserted them in The elder comes up with a classic get rich quick scheme, the younger brother Phoebus is the one who deals with the majority of the consequences Their intended victim, Kathy, is the beautiful, yet mentally fragile, young wife of a seemingly wealthy man Her husband, Rupert, is a womaniser and when he opts to refuse to pay the ransom asked, the brothers are presented with the dilemma of what to do with their captive What A DECENT RANSOM has done with this scenario however takes the reader on a substantially complicated journey Told in multiple character points of view, the author somehow has designed a story that elegantly presents each characters viewpoints without the need to label or overtly lead the reader There are subtle pointers to the voices of the various characters that the reader will pick up as they go along, as the viewpoint is silently switched, and you launch into a new chapter without necessarily knowing who you re listening to up front That ability to be inside the heads, to see what they see, to hear what they are thinking rather than see the character first, creates a very intimate portrayal of a bunch of people in extraordinary circumstances There s a lightness of touch, a sense of humour, a subtle drawing out of the absurdity of the mess that these people have gotten themselves into There s also some fitting light and shade, particularly in the relationship between the two brothers, and the group of prostitutes, particularly a young Chinese woman, who seem to be their best friends These are people who care about each other, and care about what they have done Obviously the reader is going to assume that the scenario for this kidnapping is prey turned predator, that Rupert s refusal to pay the ransom will mean that Kathy sides with the brothers to get him Nothing is ever that simple A DECENT RANSOM requires some concentration and an ability to roll with the author You re not going to get the story handed to you on a plate, but you are going to get something that is original, clever, and and just flat out entertaining.


  6. says:

    The author challenged the usual boundaries of contemporary fiction and bravely narrated the novel in the 1st person and through multiple perspectives of both male and female characters The story time line is not straightforward and it keeps the reader engaged it gets complicated throughout the story but still, it remains amazingly clear to the reader There are a few things that make this style of writing very distinctive The way the author presents various foreign accents which makes a platform for the comic element in the novel The author also challenges the usual written sentence structure which also contributes to the funny side of the story We had a conversation In the truck, going down the mountain I didn t like it I didn t Like it the opening of Chapter 84 There are very distinctive and elaborate monologues that quite often switch to dialogues between the character and another part of the character such as consciousness or Me which I understand is an inner voice vocalizing fear and stressing the adherence to what is proper as a response to the character s desires Further, there is somewhat surreal atmosphere at some points in this story E.g A dying character seeing Them coming, which may indicate some surreal being s but it is up to the reader to imagine who Them might be.A mesmerizing piece of fiction Ivana Hruba lets her readers use their own intelligence to figure out things for themselves and also gives them space for imagination which gets topped off with the open ending Thank you, Ivana


  7. says:

    This is a must read for serious readersThis book delighted and thrilled the writer in me I loved the turns and twists in the storyline and found the five primary characters fascinating Each evoked either compassion or empathy and I cared about what was going to happen to themsomething every writer wants their reader to feeland something every reader hopes for.The structure choice may confuse some, but I suggest letting go of expectations In this novella, as the story unfolds, each of the major players express how they feel about the very same experience from their singular point of view This drives the drama forward and I,for one, could not wait to see how these very different people would come together to create an event that none of them could possibly ever forget.Review copied from Barnes Noble edition of A Decent Ransom, titled A Decent Ransom the Kidnapping Obviously, as the author of the said work, I couldn t agree


  8. says:

    An interesting plot driven story with appropriate redemption and come uppances in the end.The style was intriguing four first person point of view narratives that interwove from chapter to chapter, sometimes playing out the same scene from alternating viewpoints very cinematic There was sparse dialogue, and whenever it was presented, it came as part of a character s narrative somewhat telling instead of showing.The claustrophobic, sexual tension of the initial kidnap scene gave way to movement in the second half of the novel, when the characters moved out of the house and new characters were introduced and various plots within the the plot became evident.This helped pick up the pace and keep me gripped and reading until the end.A couple of items that did not work for me 1 the multiple first person narrative style was also the book s undoing these four narrators included a heavily accented Oriental woman, a stammering teenager, a housewife and her pool equipment operator loser husband Had they been allowed to speak , as opposed to narrate, their characters would have been better drawn all four characters seemed to be narrating as one type an educated adult perhaps the voice of the author Sometimes, the narrators went through their lines as if they were trying to clear up plot points for the reader I wonder if a plain old fashioned, limited third person viewpoint would have not worked better here In the end, Kenny not one of the narrators, came across as the best drawn character to me Experimentation in style is fine as long as it extends and improves our appreciation of the work I m not sure it quite worked here 2 Setting was not clear Words like telly, cricket bat, lift and petrol, led me to believe that this novel was set in Australia But the pre occupation with cowboys and injuns , truck stops and sombreros led me to conclude that it also could have been somewhere in the US Southwest I m not sure if place was deliberately muddied for commercial purposes, but a clear setting always grips me even if it is in Timbuctoo And having lived in Australia I think it is a great country to set a story like this it does not have to be masked.In the end, the author shows her faith and compassion in the human spirit in the way the characters come to terms with their roles in the crime s.


  9. says:

    At the begining of this book, I was captivated by the story It is written differently then anything I have read before Each chapter, you don t know which character you re reading about until the end Sometimes it is the same character as the one you just read, sometimes a different character It s one of those stories where you can t see the ending going well And, well, it ended better than I thought, but I generally didn t enjoy the ending I just think the message the end sent seemed like it was for a different book The story is interesting and keeps you guessing, I just couldn t fully reconcile the ending with the rest of it.


  10. says:

    The fact that the story was told in several characters perspectives was a novel way to tell the story But sometimes it was confusing and I would realize I wasn t sure who was narrating Lots of interesting characters and I liked how each switch of narrator revealed of the inner thoughts of each as well as further the story The pace of the book kept you on your toes I agree with another reviewer that the ending was a bit off for some reason After the twist was revealed, it seemed like what some of the characters were saying earlier didn t make sense.


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