I cannot believe this is the same author who wrote House of Holes. I'm both shocked and delighted about thI would give this book 3.5 stars if I could.
I cannot believe this is the same author who wrote House of Holes. I'm both shocked and delighted about that. While I think I loathed House of Holes (maybe it was me, not the book?), Room Temperature was almost completely softer and...(looking for the right word)...lovelier than HOH. I say "almost" because Baker still did use some stark flashbacks and relatively "colorful" metaphors but they were ding-dang BRILLIANT in use.
It's 3 stars instead of 4 because for some reason, the story didn't grab me with both hands and make me sit and eat it. I mean, it's 116 pages, and it took me 64 days to finish. Sixty-four! Days! To finish 116 pages. But when I did pick it up, I was truly transported into his "remember whens" and bought it. I don't know why I kept putting it down?
If you're a new parent (or fixin' to be), you'll relate. If you're an empty-nester, it'll take you back. I'm somewhere in between, and I did relate. Maybe I'll read it again in 15 years or so. (If you've never had a child, I still think you'll like the prose and Baker's construction.)...more
Oh, boy. House of Holes was extremely disjointed and felt like an amateur attempt at erotica. I have a feeling this review is going to be extremely diOh, boy. House of Holes was extremely disjointed and felt like an amateur attempt at erotica. I have a feeling this review is going to be extremely disjointed. I read someone's review in which he read the first 100 pages and then just skimmed the rest of the book. I think he was onto something there. I actually read it through -- I was really rooting for it to get...better? more cohesive? not sure... -- but it never, ever did. It stayed trite, and I just couldn't get past the cartoon-ish feel that I have a feeling Baker was actually going for.
This is the first Nicholson Baker I've read, but it's not the only Baker I own. I'm not giving up on him because I've heard only shining recommendations of his work. I should have known not to pick House of Holes up, as I've never heard anyone recommend it. I'm sorry to say that I don't recommend it either. Sorry, Mr. Baker. *Insert frowny face here*...more
Marisa de los Santos has written an exemplary second novel. Her beautiful and effective prose literally *puBig exhale. Or, sigh. Whatever. Here we go.
Marisa de los Santos has written an exemplary second novel. Her beautiful and effective prose literally *pulls* emotion out of you. Whatever emotion she wants the reader to experience, she effortlessly draws the picture and sensation with words. Books (or more directly, passages in books) do not often elicit physical tears and actual sobs from me, but de los Santos did it.
Yeah, I wept. [Insert defiant side-eye glance here.] You got somethin' to say to me? That's what I thought.
There were several stories being weaved, one just loosely related to the others but still integral to the illustration of the eventual character dichotomies that were going on. I must admit there were more than a few twists and turns, with which I think the author probably wanted to surprise and catch the reader off-guard. While some were certainly "did that just happen" moments for me, I was not as surprised when The Big Epiphany was revealed. I saw that one coming. (Side note: How nice for me, getting to write about an epiphany on The Feast of the Epiphany. ThankyouverymuchI'llbehereallweek.)
Bottom line: I don't write a lot of reviews, but when an author shines the way de los Santos does in _Belong to Me_, sometimes I just have to find that of-course-people-care-what-you-think-about-this-book nerve and let you know what you're supposed to think of the book when you read it. El Oh El!...more
This was my first Edith Wharton. Considering when she wrote it, I'm impressed by her audacity. I'm looking forward to reading The Age of Innocence; noThis was my first Edith Wharton. Considering when she wrote it, I'm impressed by her audacity. I'm looking forward to reading The Age of Innocence; not at all surprised she would garner a Pulitzer for Fiction....more