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Review: The Farm

November 13, 2014

The Farm

Daniel gets a phone call from his father telling him that his mother has had a breakdown and is in a mental hospital.  Daniel’s worried and decides he needs to head to Sweden to be with his parents.  Before he can leave, his mother calls, says his father is lying and she’s on her way to London.  Daniel doesn’t know who to believe and is shocked as he slowly unravels the story.

I was pretty excited to read The Farm by Tom Rob Smith after I read it was inspired by actual events in the author’s life.  The book started out strong for me – I quickly became engrossed and was anxious to find out which of Daniel’s parents was telling the truth.   The story lost steam for me about halfway through, though, and I’m not really sure why.  I think it might be because nothing really happens to the narrator, Daniel – most of the book is his mother recounting her story to him – which made me feel distanced from the action.  The ending was a bit of a letdown for me, too.  It may not sound like it, but I did enjoy the book but I didn’t love it the way I thought I would.

The audio version of The Farm is narrated very well by James Langton and Suzanne Toren.  It’s on 8 CDs and lasts approximately 9 and a half hours.

Review copy provided by Hachette Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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23 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2014 4:14 am

    This should have been exciting!

  2. November 13, 2014 5:39 am

    I would have expected an exciting story given the strong start.

  3. Beth F permalink
    November 13, 2014 6:02 am

    Because I just finished Child 44 and loved it, I was looking forward to THE FARM. Humm, maybe I’ll crank my expectations down a notch.

  4. November 13, 2014 6:17 am

    Thats interesting! I did not know it was based on actual events. I had started it and put it down. Perhaps I need to revisit.

  5. November 13, 2014 8:17 am

    I really liked this one. I totally hear you on the middle dragging a bit with Daniel’s mom’s recounting of her story, but I did like the ending. I feel like he could have gone off in a number of bizarre and unbelievable ways, but he went with something a bit more realistic. I’m excited to read Child 44 (hopefully after the New Year) after reading Beth Fish’s review.

  6. November 13, 2014 8:18 am

    I have this but haven’t picked it up because I’ve seen too many not so great reviews!

  7. November 13, 2014 9:40 am

    I almost completely agree with you, Kathy. But my problem was that I absolutely loved the Child 44 trilogy. Book 1 (Child 44) was in my 1st volume of Fiction for the Non-Fiction Reader. I’m not sure I can put my finger on what didn’t click for me in The Farm, but it was definitely a big letdown. Expectations were too high, I guess.

  8. November 13, 2014 10:15 am

    What a fascinating concept! Sorry to hear it kind of lost steam.

  9. Patty permalink
    November 13, 2014 11:04 am

    Hmmm…it still sounds good, though!

  10. November 13, 2014 12:53 pm

    I’ve had this on my tbr list since I first saw it.. After reading your thoughts on it, I don’t know if I should get a copy or not.

  11. November 13, 2014 2:20 pm

    I got this book from one of the publishers but I never asked for it, so I haven’t read it yet. It sounds sort of good but I’m sorry it lost steam at the halfway point.

  12. sandynawrot permalink
    November 13, 2014 2:55 pm

    I would agree with you…I enjoyed it for the storytelling, but I didn’t love it. I just…had NO IDEA where it was going! I felt strung along a little I guess. He kept me curious about what was actually going on, but it was a very winding path. And by the end, I was like “oh, well YEAH, of course that is what is going on.” Great narration I thought. After Child 44, I think Smith lost his mojo a bit.

  13. November 13, 2014 3:45 pm

    Weird stuff, cool

  14. November 13, 2014 3:46 pm

    Kathy, thanks for sharing your thoughts about The Farm. I’m sorry that this wasn’t as riveting to you as it sounded initially!

  15. November 13, 2014 6:52 pm

    The setup sounds pretty intriguing!

  16. November 13, 2014 7:05 pm

    Hmmm…this is the third or fourth review that said it was okay, but not great. I can see where it would seem like the action is at a distance since it is not happening to the narrator.

  17. November 13, 2014 8:08 pm

    I know what you mean about it losing steam. I liked it, but wanted to push it along as well:)

  18. November 13, 2014 8:53 pm

    I know what you mean about getting a little bored in the middle – although I really liked this. And I liked the ending – I didn’t see it coming and it took me by surprise – in a good way.

  19. November 14, 2014 1:52 pm

    The premise sounds amazing. It seems that a lot of people have felt the same way you did. I think I’ll pass!

  20. November 15, 2014 10:05 pm

    Hm. Every time I read a review of this one it seems like it SHOULD have been good but maybe didn’t live up to that. Just another book I can cross off my list 🙂

  21. November 16, 2014 1:58 pm

    I’ve been meaning to read this for some time now, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Have you read his Child 44 trilogy?

  22. bookingmama permalink
    November 17, 2014 10:59 am

    I think it’s hard when we have different expectations for a book. That recently happened to me.

  23. November 20, 2014 8:31 pm

    When I first heard the premise of the book I wanted to read it but knew he wrote Child-44 which I’ve been terrified to read. With that said I decided I just wanted to find someone who would tell me the ending to this one so I could cross it off my list! So Kathy will you please tell me which parent was lying! pretty please ;-D

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