It’s funny how books seem to come in runs of luck. Now clearly, there is a human element to this. Sometimes I am in a good mood, or a bad mood, or just the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ mood for a certain type of novel or (rarely) I just don’t feel like reading at all. For me, was another ‘what’s the point’ kind of novel.
I got to the end, and I was so confused about the point, I actually had to go out and read some other reviews (which, as you know, generally I am loathe to do).
Now, interestingly, the other reviewers see the flaws that I see. In no particular order:
- There is no description or scene setting – often you have literally no idea where a scene is set
- The novel jumps around, showing snippets of life – but it is as if they are selected at random, as most seem normal and meaningless. It is kind of like reading random pages of a very average person’s diary
- There are no real highs or lows – there is no real emotion in much of the novel and where it is expressed, it falls flat, like fact, rather than feeling
- Daniel – usually just outside the scene – is an annoyance and provides nothing much to the narrative
However, in the end, they all seem to agree that they actually like the novel, for it’s ‘sadness’ or ‘fractured quality’ or the domestic passages when nothing happens. And this is what frustrates me about reviews. How are these stated as good things? How, in one place can you complain that a novel jumps around and in another praise it’s ‘fractured’ style? Or say there are no emotional highs or lows, but claim nothing happens in a good way? For me, the positives are just as negative as the negatives.
This book wasn’t horrible, it was just nothingy. Boring.