I don't think I can review this properly. There is definitely some bias because I love what Kidd does with a book. I think Safran Foer tried somethingI don't think I can review this properly. There is definitely some bias because I love what Kidd does with a book. I think Safran Foer tried something similar in Extremely Loud Incredibly Close but he's experimentation made the book unreadable for me (listened to it instead). Kidd's work is nothing if not clearly presented while playful....more
There were moments of this that were brilliant. Moments...because this was a book of moments but it felt like they were beads in a box left to bumbleThere were moments of this that were brilliant. Moments...because this was a book of moments but it felt like they were beads in a box left to bumble around instead of being strung together with real cohesion. So much of it felt incomplete. The dialogue style was largely maddening to me and felt mis-punctuated (And that is one of my biggest pet peeves about reading/writing...messing with punctuation conventions [ex: no quotations marks; no paragraphs; periods for commas or ellipses;]. You're being pretentious, obfuscating for no purpose other than to create an in-crowd of people who 'get it'.) This was work to read. When you have to struggle through a paragraph, confused by word choice and style, it puts up barriers to immersion that is necessary (for me anyway) to enjoy a book.
Then there's a part of me that feels badly for rating this so lowly. I shouldn't dislike something purely because I didn't understand it. After much thought, I'm 98% sure that even his writing/my reading produced crystal clear comprehension, I just didn't like the story....more
still processing...I'll edit this later. (edit) 5/26/2015
I first read Shapiro's Still Writing. Then I read Devotion. So I went into this having becomestill processing...I'll edit this later. (edit) 5/26/2015
I first read Shapiro's Still Writing. Then I read Devotion. So I went into this having become a fan of her style. It was interesting to read this after reading Devotion because of the overlap in contentious mother/daughter relationships. When I was reading the beginning of Family History I had the thought that this reminded me of some other character who had problems with her mother...only to realize it was Devotion (which is a memoir) that I was remembering. Also the similarity with an incident regarding a young child in Family History and Shapiro's own son. I can't really accuse Shapiro of being derivative or repetitive...Family History was published first and Devotion was non-fiction, so. It just is. As a dabbling writer, I often fictionalize events from my life as a way to cope, to investigate.
Putting that plot similarity aside (which isn't the whole book in either case) I liked this...I didn't love it (as I did my previous reads of her books). It felt like an early work (in comparison to her other books...not to things I've read in general). But the style that I have come to appreciate- slow but rhythmic like breathing, introspective without being neurotic or obsessive- is definitely there though a touch unrefined. Also, there is a turning point in the history of these characters...but nothing is ever made of it, nothing is ever settled or found out. Focus is switched to a another point...but I kept thinking something would happen with an earlier moment (the story is told non-sequentially). I kept hoping until the end, but there was no resolution. I try to be okay with a lack of resolution...but such a big deal was made of the change in this character that to delve into something else...why?
Actually rating would be 3.5 if I could rate on the half-star. ...more
Any review would be incredibly biased due to my being a fan of the radio show for years...probably over a decade. It was a great choice to write is asAny review would be incredibly biased due to my being a fan of the radio show for years...probably over a decade. It was a great choice to write is as dialogue. Kept the tone intact....more