While this book starts well, it soon goes downhill.
The central character in the beginning is Marco Stanley Fogg. He drew my attention. What happens tWhile this book starts well, it soon goes downhill.
The central character in the beginning is Marco Stanley Fogg. He drew my attention. What happens to him gives the reader a lot to think about. He is an orphan and has no relatives. He is totally alone, or so he thinks. Until..... Well, I am not going to tell you. And he is broke. When? 1969. Where? Brooklyn. I liked the writing. I liked the philosophical thoughts, his thoughts about writing, about travel, about how people interact and our need for connection with other human beings. All of this I found interesting! Then he meets Kitty. I liked her too.
However, the further you proceed the further the focus shifts from Marco to others and the weaker the story becomes. Mostly the book follows an elderly man, Effing. He is 84 in 1969. But who is Effing? First their stories are woven together, but then the Effing personality takes over. His story? Well it is crazy, as far as I am concerned. His story goes on and on, and on and on. It‘s too long, goes off on all different tangents, none of which were either credible or interesting. One example, to be specific, are (view spoiler)[the pages and pages and more pages about a book written by Effing’s son. (hide spoiler)] Yes, there is a connection between Effing and Marco, but that connection is in no way credible. At least two thirds of the entire book left me totally unengaged. Little to think about. How is it possible to be engaged in a story that is beyond belief? In addition, this part of the book turns into a movie script.
The narration by Joe Barrett is absolutely excellent.
I am annoyed - a bad end to a bad book. I wrote a review and somehow lost it before saving it! Here follows a second try.
Wordy, confusing and boring.I am annoyed - a bad end to a bad book. I wrote a review and somehow lost it before saving it! Here follows a second try.
Wordy, confusing and boring. Those are the three adjectives I would use to describe this book. Simplistic too.
My biggest complaint is the wordiness. Was Faulkner taking part in a contest to see who could come up with the most synonyms for each word? Someone should count how many times "or" is found in this book. Faulkner begins with an oblique statement, and then it is repeated umpteen times with other words so that the meaning is hammered into the reader. This bored me and started putting me to sleep.
The plot is straightforward and simple. Faulkner uses none of his complicated literary techniques typical of his other novels. Nevertheless, I think he likes to confuse. Why does he never say something once, simply? There is a plot twist at the end that threw me.
So what is the theme of the book? It is a coming of age story, set in 1905 in Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee. An adventure story spread over four days. Lucius Priest, a pampered white eleven-year-old, the story’s main character, learns the difference between the real world and the ideal world taught to him by his elders. What we are told and the way it really is. That is it in a nutshell. The four days start with the stealing of a car, followed by the crossing of a muddy creek, betting, horse races, a bordello and of course prostitutes. (Reivers means the stealers!). Yet the story is so innocent, the message so cute. Too cute. Honestly, I think the book is more appropriate for kids. It says nothing to an adult.
It draws for me a rather tame picture of the South in 1905.
The audiobook narration by John H. Mayer was easy to follow, yet I detested his intonation of Ned McCaslin's "hee-hee-hee". Ned is black. He plays a central role. The intonation made him sound stupid, and he wasn't stupid at all!