Bound [With Earbuds]
Antonya Nelson is known for her razor-sharp depictions of contemporary family life in all of its sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious complexity. Her latest novel has roots in her own youth in Wichita, in the neighborhood stalked by the serial killer known as BTK (Bind, Torture, and Kill). A story of wayward love and lost memory, of public and private lives twisting out of c...more
One pleasure of reading Antonya Nelson is that she brings the careful language and control of literary fiction to uncontrolled, rough-and-tumble lives. Mixing the admittedly bourgeois undertaking of meticulously crafted prose with working class grit is risky — it can devolve into condescension or cartoonishness — but Nelson, like Raymond Carver, strikes a remarkable balance.
In "Bound," she turns her talents to a character study of t...more
"Snowflakes had begun falling outside in festive complicity, covering the ugly, muting the unpleasant" (51).
"That would have been right up her very vengeful, extravagant ally" (88).
"Genetically, she'd be inclined to addiction; socially, toward unenlightened attitudes. Her mother's sympathy w...more
You will not be interested in this book if you are looking for a plot-driven novel. This is a character-driven novel and the plot is almost secondary, really. I personally really like character-drive novels if the writing is done well and I would be hard pressed to say that Antonya Nelson does not do the writing well in this novel. I could see where her writing mig...more
But this book also had dogs in it to sustain the length (she's more known for her short stories) that her vacant characters cannot. Prose craft continues.
Ad nauseam misspelled.
This is my review.
It's hard to say exactly why I really didn't care for this book. The writing was okay, but I found the book confusing as it skipped around so much and there were so many characters and so many stories going on. And I really didn't care about any of the characters either . . . there was nothing that rea...more
There are some great scenes in the book, the description of the car accident starts off the book in riveting fashion. There are great characters, the most interesting was...more
The story followed several different characters and, as I read the majority of it during my lunch hour, it was a little confusing at times to keep track of everyone. Would have probably been easier if I'd read it straight through, but who has time to do that nowadays?...more
There is a meandering, stilted quality to this story. The characters are often people I just don't "get". There's Misty, who arrives to the story dead on the scene, with her dog sniffing her corpse, which is trapped in her car, after her car has inadvertently gone over a mountainside and into a ravine. Misty, an ultra reformed recovering addict and alcoholic,...more
Opening scene/passage: like others have said in their reviews, quite good. I wish so much intense and heartrending focus hadn't been put on that dog in the opening though because after those very connected moments the dog passes out of the book with barely another mention. Quite frustrating as that dog...more
It is primarily a character-driven novel and it is a good thing that Nelson is a good writer. Her characters in this original family drama are fully developed and she clearly understands human nature. One brief paragraph abo...more