This was my first official review as a Kindle Book Review team member.
First, don’t let the three star rating decide for you.
I consider Robert Service to be a different writer from Robert Frost and from Robert Finch, and I have always enjoyed reading all three. If you want an interesting and fun read, One Hundred Years of Ermintrude is for you.
While the title recalls “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, the content is a bit like Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov. What you will read is essentially a large poem that tells more than one story. The first story works backwards in time, and tells of events in one life that are also events in other lives we will meet again later in the work. The second story works forward toward an ending already foreshadowed. Meanwhile the complexity of the previous lives gets revealed in additional incidents. The third story fills in yet more details. If I had to make a tiny carp, it would be that occasionally the rhythm could have been made smoother by removing an unnecessary word. If you are expecting perfect rhymes absolutely every time, you will have to be tolerant.
The work ends with a view of the universe that implies its purpose was to make it possible for a woman to want to buy a cat. Again, this is a fun read.
One Hundred Years of Ermintrude is a great bang for the buck. Different, thought-provoking, and fun. Enjoy.