Paul's Reviews > The Pesthouse

The Pesthouse by Jim Crace
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's review
Aug 19, 10

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bookshelves: 2010
Read from August 12 to 19, 2010

Sure, sure, sure, sure, sure sure sure, comparisons to The Road are inevitable and maybe (or maybe not) unfair, but really, what can you say about The Pesthouse, really, other than it just isn't as successful McCarthy's take on postapocalyptia. The approaches are similar, where little is given concerning the cause of the current state of the world, and the focus of the book is two figures crossing a bleak and ruined continent. Crace's book is essentially a love story, though, which I thought was to its detriment. Pretty well-paced at the beginning, the story started to sag and the characters seemed a bit directionless about half-way through. I thought the Finger Baptists were contrived and cringe-inducingly silly, and, really, I didn't quite care what happened to Mag or Franklin. I cared more about the two characters in Being Dead, and those people were already dead. Crace's tone also wavers here, is probably my biggest complaint. I also didn't like the timelessness/ahistorical nature of things, which may be a personal preference. I'm assuming this is meant to be set in the future, though all traces of technology seem to have disappeared, and, more strangely, language seems to have devolved to that of antebellum time, what with some of the things characters say every now and then. Whatever. Pretty well-written, but overall I was disappointed. I'll keep reading Crace.
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