"Kipnis is, by her own admission, a moral relativist. “There I sit,” she writes, “fingers poised on keyboard, one part of me (the ambitious, careerist part) itching to strike, but in my truest soul limply equivocal, particularly when it comes to the many lapses I suspect I’m capable of committing, from bad prose to adultery.”"
"The enterprise of being human would be so much easier if each of us only felt what we were supposed to. Kipnis, though, seems to thrill to the experience of exposing what the rest of us try to conceal. She anatomizes her psyche, tidily peeling back every layer of thought, revealing her own internal conflicts, attempting to see herself with objectivity while acknowledging that no one can really succeed at that. Reading her is likewise thrilling, partly because of her sheer exhibitionism, and partly because the reader begins to feel she should match Kipnis’s honesty with her own.
Inevitably, the author offends, as I believe she intends to, insomuch as offence is a byproduct of a challenge to one’s values. Because she not only interrogates her own opinions, she interrogates those of the world at large, and more specifically, of people like her – academics, critics… eggheads. People who are big into their opinions."...more
this book was fine, interesting little twist near the end. but i feel as though king has done some padding in the first two books of this series, likethis book was fine, interesting little twist near the end. but i feel as though king has done some padding in the first two books of this series, like they could've used a bit more editing to help improve the storylines and the flow. some things wrap up nicely, and some things just seem to disappear, never mentioned again. perhaps they will crop up elsewhere in the series, but it doesn't feel that way. so, hmmm?
i enjoyed the quotes heading each of the chapters - some of them will make you mad at men/societies of the times for being so thick (noted men of history being quoted on how it is that women are inferior make up many of the quotes ⅔ of them, anyway). the title of the book doesn't really work well for me....more
man, rating this book is making me sad. i wanted to love this novel so much, and i just didn't. i loved a few sentences, enjoyed song titles as chapteman, rating this book is making me sad. i wanted to love this novel so much, and i just didn't. i loved a few sentences, enjoyed song titles as chapter titles, and do think enright is a wonderful writer, but this just didn't come together for me very well. i seem to be having this run of reads lately where the reader is kept at a distance, and the issues are dealt with in what feels like only a very surface manner. perhaps it's the limited perspective of narration? but when themes are so personal - marriage, parenting, adultery, for example - i really hope to have emotional connections with the prose. (and i am not saying my connections have to be positive. i love unreliable narrators, and unlikeable characters.) i also feel like there were opportunities for some tighter editing. the story felt sloppy at moments, and the flow was not great. i mean, that could be purposeful - these are some messy, careless people. i just wish we got into their messes a bit more. ...more
i read this, thinking it might be a good gift book for my 17yo niece. but i just didn't love it as much as i had hoped, so won't be buyiokay... so. :/
i read this, thinking it might be a good gift book for my 17yo niece. but i just didn't love it as much as i had hoped, so won't be buying her a copy.
i found the novel to be, for all its work in looking at a life close-up, detached and merely skimming the surface. i feel there is a coldness to it all, which made it hard to bridge the chasm between being fully engaged and merely turning the pages. there were moments i did appreciate very much, and i like fiction that takes on everyday, normal lives. i found this quote at huffington post, and i agree with it:
"And yet some essential truth seems to be missed in this quiet realism and insistence on understatement. Disaster does tend to resonate throughout our lives with a depth not quite plumbed in Hadley’s book. The lushly observant writing and flashes of insight don’t seem fully satisfying; some essential part of Stella remains hidden from us...she’s keeping us at arm’s length."