Moore is older and so are the lives of her characters. Her women, and men, are still snarky, and witty, but they've got more in common with the 40 &...more
Moore is older and so are the lives of her characters. Her women, and men, are still snarky, and witty, but they've got more in common with the 40 & 50 year olds at Starbucks than the edgy young women who hang out at hipper cafes. That is to say, theirs are lives partially lived. They are wiser, usually, and wizened, having lost some of the naivete that lied beneath the skepticism of her younger characters and works.
I consumed this book as I've consumed all of Moore's short stories over the years. It is so lovely to laugh at lines in a story, particularly when the story isn't setting out to be funny. Moore is an author I would love to meet to say thank you. I hope she is enjoying her new home at Vanderbilt, and we see more books soon. (less)
This fine novel explores the transitions from poor to wealth, village to city, an agragarian economy to communal to capitalist, childhood to adult, co...moreThis fine novel explores the transitions from poor to wealth, village to city, an agragarian economy to communal to capitalist, childhood to adult, companionship to alienation.
There is much here that readers of Weber and Marx would identify, to be sure. This understanding of context that Yu Hua brings to his characters enriches the novel and anchors the struggles of the characters in a tangible way and provides a relevancy to the reader, and the reader's life, regardless of the one's society or nationality.
i listened to this on audio book, while on a long drive. it was a really good and compelling story line. in the days following my completion of the bo...morei listened to this on audio book, while on a long drive. it was a really good and compelling story line. in the days following my completion of the book, i kept catching myself wanting to share with friends stories from the character's lives, as if i had met these characters and listened to them along my journey. it was a somewhat disconcerting but speaks to the strength of the storytelling in The Lowland.
i didn't like this as much as elect mr robinson for a better world, or one hundred brothers. the verifcationist had far less of the vitality and rocke...morei didn't like this as much as elect mr robinson for a better world, or one hundred brothers. the verifcationist had far less of the vitality and rocket fuel. the mania of the protagonist was deeply reflective, perhaps whereas the other characters in EMRFABW and 100 Bros, were nearly oblivious about their psychological unmoorings. those protagonists also were essentially extremists in a extreme world, that was only slightly distorted from our own, and thus served as a fascinating commentary on modern day life. antrim's shift to a narrator who is an psychology professor experiencing a psychological breakdown made the verificationist a less compelling read, and reduced the potential for comparisons to be drawn with daily life. while his colleagues have fundamental disagreements on methodologies and have intimate histories with one another, one might be hard pressed to find many academic departments of size that don't exhibit these tendencies to similar degrees.
i found antrim's recent contribution to the new yorker (late 2011 or early 2012?) also to be less fun as his previous work. (i write fun with some hesitancy, but the antrim's first two novels were exceptionally fun to read.) the short story in the new yorker dealt with a DINKY couple who were struggling to keep together the veneer of their relationship in the face of rampant consumerism and the breeders who take their kids to see Santa at christmas. such subject matter is smaller, more emotional, than a crazy extremist but i also felt that antrim handled it with less assurance.
the professor and his wife in the verificationist are also DINKYs and, at various times throughout the novel, he ruminates on his marital situation and his preference to keep the status quo, while trying to placate his wife's desire for children.
the verificationist, then, is almost a blending of these two strains. the introduction of emotionality to a narrator who, like those in EMRFABW and 100 Bros, is being held up as an example of the insanity of our world. however, this time, the fictional world isn't that insane, it's just the narrator. as such, i left the pancake house, which serves as the entire setting for the story, feeling, as i do whenever i eat pancakes, hungry for something else.(less)