The book was entertaining in an easy-read kind of way. I definitely wanted to know what Carrie, a 23-year-old girl from Madison, Wisconsin, was going...moreThe book was entertaining in an easy-read kind of way. I definitely wanted to know what Carrie, a 23-year-old girl from Madison, Wisconsin, was going to do when faced with a fiancee who broke his neck and became a quadriplegic. Her guilt is exacerbated by the fact that she had been gradually falling out of love with him in the months prior.
The story felt hackneyed in many parts: the "I couldn't help but wonder" moments; the vague "it wasn't that, nor did I know what it was." Carrie is an annoying character, but if everyone could read their own internal dialogue on paper, I'm sure it'd be annoying as well. Regardless, it's hard not to sympathize with her given the circumstances she's having to face. I did, however, feel vindicated whenever another character tried to get her out of her selfishness. She deserved a serious reality check.
Her New York boyfriend Kilroy pissed the shit out of me for sure. He's an elitist, self-absorbed trust-fund baby who is supposed to be heroic because he's denied the wealthy part of his life. He wears a denim shirt and I just picture a Midwesterner lost in Manhattan. He's evasive and cryptic, and I'm surprised he actually expressed such distraught over Carrie's decision to stay in Wisconsin. He begs her to return to New York, doesn't understand why she has to patch things up with her best friend -- "why not write her a long letter?" -- or her ex. Then he seems to have a change of heart:
"At this point," I said, "I don't know why I'm even still here." "I do." "Why?" "Because you're you...Isn't it obvious? You can't leave because you're the person you are, and I can't want you to because that would be wanting you to be someone else when I want you to be you."
That is, until 17 pages later, the next time Kilroy is mentioned, where he goes from "somewhat unhappy state of understanding" to "a more irritable state of wanting to know why I had to resolve everything at once." So he CLEARLY wants her to be her.
This book was written in 2002 and it's hard for me to remember what technology was like back then. I'm pretty sure I was on AIM until the very late hours of the morning in 2002. These characters are 23, and had just graduated from college (U of WI) where I'm sure they were not sheltered from email. Still, they were sending telegrams, writing letters, and leaving notes. It felt so archaic.
Another thing that bothered me? Mike has a mustache. (less)
It failed to provide any new or deeper insight into the immigrant/African story. It felt contrived almost because it shared a perspective that was too...moreIt failed to provide any new or deeper insight into the immigrant/African story. It felt contrived almost because it shared a perspective that was too common and too obvious. (less)
If I wasn't committed to finishing books that I start, I probably would have stopped reading this about 50-pages in. I did appreciate the new addition...moreIf I wasn't committed to finishing books that I start, I probably would have stopped reading this about 50-pages in. I did appreciate the new addition with the narration by the best friend Hand -- I liked his voice a lot more, for reasons actually, that the character himself states outright -- he tells it like it is, but unfortunately, even he was prone to a bit of blubbering.
I don't think it helped that this was my third consecutive book about an introverted male character discontent with his life and trying (seemingly in vain) to do something about it.(less)
I'm not sure what I was supposed to take away from this book.
It was an entertaining read if only because I enjoyed reading about the characters veggin...moreI'm not sure what I was supposed to take away from this book.
It was an entertaining read if only because I enjoyed reading about the characters vegging in the summer heat (as I bask in the cold of winter) drinking beers and then getting wasted on hard liquor at night.
The story is told in first person and yet I think it's perhaps the only book I can recall from memory where I learn less about the narrator than I do any other character. (Though opposing argument being, given that it's the narrator's version of the story, he's already revealing a lot about himself, yadda yadda yadda.)
Anyway, it's about a young, apparently good looking, actor who escapes his LA movie set with just a few weeks left of shooting. His disappearance causes an upheaval, natch, and is costing the producer $250K a day.
The book is broken down into 3 parts -- Act I, II, and III. By the third act, the producer decides that if Emery (the main dude) isn't going to go back to Hollywood, he'll bring Hollywood to Vermont, where Emery seeks refuge (incidentally, the house he stays at belongs to the estranged son and daughter of the producer).
But no where in the book does it reveal why Emery left, only vague answers to questions of why. We're left to default to the obvious -- lifestyles of the rich and famous, boo hoo.