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Golden State
Golden State | Ben Winters
104 posts | 62 read | 4 reading | 99 to read
From award-winning, New York Times bestselling novelist Ben H. Winters comes a mind-bending novel set in a world governed by absolute truth, where lies are as dangerous as murder.In a strange alternate society that values law and truth above all else, Laszlo Ratesic is a nineteen-year veteran of the Speculative Service. He lives in the Golden State, a nation standing where California once did, a place where like-minded Americans retreated after the erosion of truth and the spread of lies made public life and governance impossible.In the Golden State, knowingly contradicting the truth is the greatest crime--and stopping those crimes is Laz's job. In its service, he is one of the few individuals permitted to harbor untruths, to "speculate" on what might have happened.But the Golden State is less a paradise than its name might suggest. To monitor, verify, and enforce the truth requires a veritable panopticon of surveillance and recording. And when those in control of the facts twist them for nefarious means, the Speculators are the only ones with the power to fight back.
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review
vivastory
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Pickpick

A murder mystery set in a dystopia with vague ambitions of social commentary. Laszlo Ratesic is a Speculator, someone who can detect untruths in a future where lying is one of the most serious criminal offenses. The core murder mystery is a solid story. Winters excels at writing offbeat characters & the surreal nuances of this world (when people greet each other they express a scientific truth, making for some memorable non sequitirs) sets this 👇

vivastory book apart from the deluge of other dystopias. He aims for social commentary, but his message is often muddled & vague. It's almost like he wanted the biting commentary of a satire without the unlikeable characters that are almost inevitable in satire. Despite a few faults, this is another satisfying book by Winters. 2w
BarbaraBB Intriguing review! 2w
Ruthiella I‘m looking forward to this one. I liked his last policeman trilogy. 2w
See All 7 Comments
charl08 Great book! I'm hoping for a sequel. 2w
Cathythoughts Stacking 👍🏻👍🏻 2w
rwmg That does sound intriguing. Wishlisted 2w
Godpants This one was so fun. 2w
92 likes6 stack adds7 comments
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vivastory
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Since novels as we know them don't exist in this world, I'm guessing I'd spend most of my free time watching "People Searching for Small Things They Lost." Although it'd get boring watching myself on TV for awhile, so I'd switch to "Arguments in Restaurants." ?

KathyWheeler This is the book I‘m picking up next. I‘d started it once but I own it and all my library books were coming due, so I put it down to read them. 2w
vivastory @KathyWheeler I hope you like it. I'm about 2/3 in & really enjoying it 👍 2w
KathyWheeler @vivastory I was enjoying it when I put it down to finish my library books. 2w
86 likes1 stack add3 comments
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vivastory
Golden State | Ben Winters
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The narrator of Winters' latest reminds me of Dale Cooper, albeit more jaded & more of a loner.

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chuckstar158
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Mehso-so

Interesting premise but the plot took a few too many liberties for me to believe it. Ironic considering the premise is about being honest.

Sharpeipup New hair color? 1mo
Bklover Love this review! 1mo
chuckstar158 @Bklover Thank you! 1mo
chuckstar158 @Sharpeipup You got it! Lighter for summer hair and she talked me into pink. It wasn‘t hard to do. 😂 1mo
11 likes4 comments
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Gryffleclaw95
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Golden State was my BOTM pick for January 2019, and I thought it would be a good read for my trip to California. This was definitely an interesting book and the world that Winters writes is intriguing and I felt could have been explored more. However, I felt that the end of the book fell flat and I wish that Winters had expanded a bit more and given us more of a conclusion. In addition, I wish some of the plot had been explained better.

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Gryffleclaw95
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Today I read by the ocean and it was magical 🌊 📖

11 likes1 comment
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AuthorJensenReed
Golden State | Ben H. Winters
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Mehso-so

Golden State was a really interesting book, but the style wasn't my favorite.

I recommend it if you like dystopian/mysteries, and I wouldn't mind a follow up book because the ending kind of fell flat, but I don't think I'll be adding it to my forever shelf.

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amycollard
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Pickpick

Really enjoyed this dystopian-type police procedural. It‘s set in a sort of futuristic California (though that name is never mentioned) where telling the truth is all-important and telling a lie will get you sent to jail. Society is based on confirming facts and keeping strict documentation of what happened. It has echoes of 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, but also has a playfulness about it that kept it from getting too dark. Weird ending but I loved it

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Howseldomtheydo
Golden State | Ben Winters
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View from my walk today! #litsywalkers #bookfitnesschallenge This book has mixed reviews. I enjoyed it but not quite sure about the ending, wondering if there will be a sequel...

DivineDiana Would love to know more about this sculpture! 💗 3mo
Howseldomtheydo @DivineDiana The sculpture is called Flatman, by Larry Griffis Jr. (25ft. tall made of steel) It was moved to the Outer Harbor in Buffalo a couple of years ago from Griffis Sculpture Park(400 acres, 250 sculptures) 3mo
DivineDiana Thank you! I love it! 3mo
andrew61 Great sculpture, thanks for sharing. 3mo
81 likes4 comments
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ImperfectCJ
Golden State | Ben Winters
Mehso-so

After a rough beginning that read like a hackneyed cop story (intentionally?), this novel drew me in enough to keep me reading until the end. I feel about the ending of Golden State like I feel about the ending of Vox. Things just start breaking down, narratively speaking, and weird things happen. Hex was like that, too. The authors start with a great dystopian idea and then seem unsure where it should lead.

Jeannie I loved the Last Policeman series by him. Perfect for my dark sense of humor but haven‘t read his others yet. I think maybe Last Policeman set the bar high. 3mo
ImperfectCJ @Jeannie I happened upon Golden State on the library's “new books“ shelf and picked it up knowing nothing about Ben Winters. Last Policeman looks like I'd really like it if it doesn't send me spiraling into an existential morass (not that I need a book to push me in that direction; I have a hereditary predisposition toward existentialism). I'll have to try it and see. 3mo
Jeannie @ImperfectCJ if you ever read Last Policeman, let me know. I know absolutely no one who has read that series. 3mo
ImperfectCJ @Jeannie Will do. I love an excuse to talk about books. (edited) 3mo
2 likes4 comments
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Howseldomtheydo
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Starting a new book today! Hoping to get out for a walk after the rain moves through #litsywalkers #currentlyreading

73 likes1 stack add
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The.Intentional.Reader
Golden State | Ben Winters
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I have this feeling like a 100 times a week! Anyone else?

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The.Intentional.Reader
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Starting one of my BOTM club selections. I've only read the 1st chapter so far and really like it. Hopefully the rest is just as good.

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DimeryRene
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Pickpick

Between a pick and a so-so. I liked it alright. Glad I read it. Pacing was good, action was okay, there were a few twists. Nothing mind blowing. Reminded me a lot of Fahrenheit. 💕

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Geeklet
Golden State | Ben Winters
Mehso-so

Part dystopia/part thriller. This book doesn‘t really satisfy either itch though. The weird twists in the plot never really came together for me. I just didn‘t understand why the author made the decisions that he made.

Cinfhen Ugh! I have a feeling I‘m never going to get to this book!! 5mo
Geeklet @Cinfhen I‘d recommend just grabbing it on a day when you aren‘t really feeling any particular genre. It reads like a thriller. The first half is pretty good. 5mo
Cinfhen Thanks for the encouragement!!! 5mo
vivastory That's a shame. I loved his Last Policeman trilogy. @Cinfhen I think you'd love Last Policeman, if you haven't read it. 4mo
Cinfhen I have it but it‘s still unread @vivastory I did really enjoy 4mo
30 likes5 comments
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Geeklet
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Like most Friday nights, I‘m quietly lying in bed with the dogs while my fiancé screams like a banshee while playing Overwatch. ❤️

Erofan 😂 4mo
41 likes1 comment
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BookishMarginalia
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Pickpick

Mmm... for the most part, I enjoyed this novel and its exploration of what constitutes truth, reality, and shared experience. However, there were plenty of WTF moments that just left me scratching my head. There were also plenty of things that didn‘t make sense, and I am unsure whether that was intentional, or runaway writing in search of an editor. Bottom line: not anywhere as good as The Last Policeman, but I‘m glad I read it.

131 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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BookBelle84
Golden State | Ben Winters
Pickpick

This book was very unique. I've heard it compared to 1984 but I think it stands alone. Very thought provoking about the effects of truth and lies on society. This book may have been a little over my head and I didn't grasp everything the author was trying to say but I still loved it! #highlyrecommend

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Mirandareads
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed Golden State! It was a good change of pace for me, and I‘d recommend this to anyone looking for a new dystopian type novel.

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BookBelle84
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Loving this so far. Great world building and it has an old detective noir feeling to it.

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Jenken1998
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Pickpick

This dystopian novel with a detective noir feel to it was not too bad. A book set in a dystopian future where the police state can tell if you lie through "officers" with special capabilities. The consequences for lying are steep. One officer uncovers a secret that shakes the truth as he knows it. Great world building and writing. You must be alert to follow the storyline. Lol. I don't usually readdystopian but it was not to bad.

16 likes1 stack add
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MaceyT15
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Mehso-so

"The square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sums of the squares of the other two sides."
What a world to live in with a greeting such as this. Although I didn't understand all aspects of the story, it definitely put our world into perspective. Regarded more highly than all else, truth and facts are most holy.
This wasn't one of my favorites of this year, but still worth a read.

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Jenken1998
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Going to give this one a try. If i can keep my eyes open. So sleepy. Lol 😴😴😴😴

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Giabow
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Pickpick

Some things I've been reading lately that were really fantastic. Highly recommend.
#ReadersOfInstagram #TheresARollerDerbyPlay #Recommended

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wtimblin
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Pickpick

A strange dystopian society where 'truth ' is valued above all else, and lies are punished severely. Policed by agents of the Speculative Service, whose job is to maintain the 'established truth' using their weird 'lie detector' psychic abilities, this book paints a disturbing look at the nature of reality and what is actually true. Very interesting and enjoyable. I also loved his Last Policeman series

39 likes1 stack add
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KathyWheeler
Golden State | Ben Winters
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I love Ben Winters but I didn‘t know about this book until I saw it today in the bookstore. I‘m sitting in the park enjoying the day and doing some reading.

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Kathrin
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Pickpick

The novel reminds me of books like George Orville's 1984 but with a twist: In 1984 our main character is a number in the system trying to break out. In Golden State the main character is part of the system, believing in its purpose and perpetuating the structures. But then slowly he notices that his world is upside down.

I thought this was slow in the beginning about around the halfway point it really picked up for me.

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Skyler
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Home sick today, so most of today was spent sleeping and reading Golden State. It‘s SO GOOD.

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WanderingBookaneer
Golden State | Ben Winters
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40 pages left.

I can do this! 😴

Joanne1 Yes, yes you can. 6mo
92 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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BookishMarginalia
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Intriguing #firstlines! I loved Winters‘ Last Policeman trilogy, so I have high hopes for this one!

Godpants I really loved this one. Have fun! 6mo
riversong153 I enjoyed this one. 6mo
cathipink This book made me so mad, but the concept was so intriguing. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts. 6mo
109 likes6 stack adds3 comments
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Kleonard
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Mehso-so

At some point I found myself frequently checking how much longer I had left to read with this one. I was intrigued at first but at the halfway point I began to lose interest. So many twists at the end. Too many for this reader.

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Kleonard
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Enjoying this one quite a bit! (Thank you for the recommendation, Sherri.)

41 likes3 stack adds
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riversong153
Golden State | Ben Winters
Pickpick

This book had a bit of a slow start but was really interesting! I wonder if the author intends to make this a series? There are definitely enough unanswered questions for it. Someone on GR said that it reminded them of 1984 and The Giver. 1984 is still on my TBR but knowing the plot and The Giver, I kinda agree. Solid read!

34 likes1 stack add
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KadeLexical
Golden State | Ben Winters
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“That‘s love, as best as I can figure it: love isn‘t how you feel when you‘re together, it‘s how you feel, how often you feel it, when you‘re apart.”

3 likes1 stack add
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EleniKara
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Mehso-so

This is a hard one for me to even rate. It started off very strong for me, loved the concept and the world-building of this dystopia. But as the story continued there were just a lot of plot points I was not a fan of and the ending felt like there was still a lot left to be explained. It‘s a shame the second half of this book fell flat for me because I loved the first half.

76 likes2 stack adds
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Well-ReadNeck
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Pickpick

Yaaaasss! Ben H. Winters is great at alternative world building and he nails it here. In this world, lies are against the law. Enforced by a special police branch called the Speculators. Sounds a bit utopian given the daily news 😉 but quickly becomes creepy, thinky, dystopian fun!!

126 likes7 stack adds
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krismlars
Golden State | Ben Winters
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From the inside cover: A shocking, daring, world-shattering vision of America, Golden State is a wild journey into our post-truth America, a Fahrenheit 451 for our anxious times.
Knowingly contradicting the truth is the greatest crime.

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Skeebies05
Golden State | Ben Winters
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1. White chocolate
2. Laundry!!! 🧺
3. Mind own with this one!!
4. Not a one :(
5. Will do!!!

#friyayintro

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charl08
Golden State | Ben H. Winters
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Great book (but not exactly Valentine themed!)

42 likes3 stack adds
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Godpants
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Pickpick

🤩 Riding that high of a great book. Speculative fiction will always be my first love. This book kept me guessing and I guess I should read more Ben Winters. If you check this one out, tag me and let‘s chat. 😘

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krismlars
Golden State | Ben Winters
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I haven't been reading much since the 24in48 readathon. The beginning of February was very busy, with a beer festival and the Super Bowl and my birthday. Oh, and I decided to watch The Office in it's entirety (for the first time, believe it or not). So that was a HUGE time suck. But I finished and now have my life back! Also, this book is super interesting.

Louise Happy belated Birthday! 7mo
krismlars Thanks @Louise ! I'm not sure how I'm already 38😬 7mo
9 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Godpants
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Ready to dive in.

6 likes1 stack add
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AshleyC816
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Pickpick

Loved this one! A place where lying is against the law and there is a team of detectives who can detect lies. So interesting and well done, highly recommend!

Libby1 ❤️ 7mo
TheSpineView If it we could apply this to politicians! 7mo
79 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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SoSheReads
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Lazlo is a member of the Speculative Service, which enforces the rule of the Golden State: truth. Residents retreated to the Golden State when truth telling became obsolete & lies became viral, making governance impossible. I found this a fascinating read, considering our current climate of questioning our own media and politicians truth. I wish there was a bit more at the end but overall I found the plot very enjoyable. #botm #bookreview

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mdemanatee
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Not sure what I am thinking of this so far, but I‘ll be finishing it up at work tomorrow.

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sophierayton
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Pickpick

Dystopian fiction considering 'The Truth' - how valid and important it is.

39 likes2 stack adds
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Jason7
Golden State | Ben Winters
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Mehso-so

In this novel it is a felony to tell a lie, so in the spirit of truth, I must say that Golden State was a bit of a disappointment. I really liked Ben Winters‘ previous novel, Underground Airlines, but this one isn‘t as good in my opinion. The idea is okay. The story is okay, and the narrator is okay, all of which leads to an average audiobook. Overall rating: 3.02 stars

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msgriffith
Golden State | Ben Winters
Panpan

I didn‘t enjoy this book. I kept pushing myself to keep reading because I heard there were some big twists. They fell short for me. I felt it was slow and lacking suspense.

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Bookboss
Golden State | Ben H. Winters
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Pickpick

The Last Policeman trilogy is brilliant, so I quickly put a hold on this novel as soon as it popped up on my library‘s catalogue. The story takes place in an alternate California where telling lies is illegal. Although it reads like a police procedural, it delves into the nature of truth and our need to experience realities other than our own. The ending was rushed, and leads me to speculate that Winters is planning a series: Fine with me.

45 likes1 stack add