I’ve just finished reading this. I’d already watched the film, so I knew how the story was going to end, but I still enjoyed it purely because it is so easy to read. I didn’t think it lived up to the hype though. For a start I don’t think it’s very well written. Considering the material it covers, the book seems very benign. It’s a good story though and I like Sebold’s very original (as far as I can tell) idea of having the narrator tell the story after her death.
It’s rare but in this case I have to conclude that the film is better than the book, though I can’t say for certain that I would maintain that position had I read the book before I’d seen the film. Of course the film simplifies and accelerates the book, as films have to, but still I found Peter Jackson’s adaptation to be visually breathtaking and the suspense was masterful.
(6th in 2012)