The innovation of stream-of-conscious writing is certainly ground breaking, but writing that relies on clever writing technique without a service to t...moreThe innovation of stream-of-conscious writing is certainly ground breaking, but writing that relies on clever writing technique without a service to the story is precious writing.
The story itself is about awful people, doing and thinking selfish, secret things, in Addie Bundren's own words.(less)
Satyal is a writer for New York Magazine and does a brilliant weekly recap that has me laughing from the first three lines of American Horror Story: C...moreSatyal is a writer for New York Magazine and does a brilliant weekly recap that has me laughing from the first three lines of American Horror Story: Coven. About Lily Rabe's character, a Cajun witch, inspired by Stevie Nicks, looking like a swampy Cover Girl mascara commercial among giant strung up crocodiles "...Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's necromancy!"
I look forward to reading a personal account of this life that has informed his writing and humor.(less)
Jaffe's debut has been underrated. Why has this not been on reading list from writers since the 50's?
It's subversive yet a little soapy, which is why...moreJaffe's debut has been underrated. Why has this not been on reading list from writers since the 50's?
It's subversive yet a little soapy, which is why I know it's been relegated to toe the line between the dark corners of literary fiction and the pulpy titles the girls help publish in the novel.
There is more owed to this book and what it foretold about women and feminism without being preachy about it. The overall tone of the book is timeless and was very modern for the time; and at the same time it's shocking if not sad or downright depressing that so many aspects of what these characters go through aren't relics of a bygone era.(less)
If you are into companion books, read it along with the Rabbit series by John Updike. Both are sprawling, generational, expansive in scope, and follow...moreIf you are into companion books, read it along with the Rabbit series by John Updike. Both are sprawling, generational, expansive in scope, and follow characters over a long period of time. The similarities end there.
I wish I had read another book of Meg Wolitzer's to compare to this one because this has been one of the books on the short list for "the" book to read this summer. I had to wait all summer practically at the library to finally get a copy.
The writing was fine, but it was so dense, there was a lot of unnecessary descriptions of the same things, mainly the characters - such as Ash's grace and beauty, Ethan's flat, solid ugliness, I got the point early on. There were four main characters and every so often, the writing would get stuck in this black hole of describing the minutiae of the characters' lives and thoughts and feelings from the first time they had sex; even when it didn't advance the plot or story.
I agreed with the less invested character in the story, Dennis, who reveals to his middle aged wife that her group of friends from arts summer camp aren't all that interesting as they have clung on to believing ferociously for decades after they were fifteen. What does it say when a character in the novel himself wants out?
I was surprised by this declaration in the novel, which disappointingly wasn't quite at the end, because if the author knew this wasn't all that interesting, why did she drag everything out and take it out on us the reader?
Why not tighten up the writing and make it truly interesting? This book could have had five endings. It was too busy, which wasn't interesting, just distracting.
After all the buzz, I was expecting something different, closer to Updike's treatment of character development through generations and the reflection of the culture at the time, as he did with Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; and Rabbit at Rest.
Ultimately, I was compelled to read the entire novel because while I didn't agree that they were all that interesting, they were more like, vaguely not boring.(less)