Danica's Reviews > Waiting
by Ha Jin
by Ha Jin
Dec 04, 10
What a drab little book. And how ironic that, on its back cover, Lisa See offers up a plaudit about the purportedly "tremendous love story" enclosed in its covers. That is a much more simplistic conception of this novel than Ha Jin probably intends for us to take away. In fact, it's not just simplistic. It's entirely wrong. This story isn't a love story. It's a character study about a decent man whose indecisiveness and dispassionate nature nevertheless lead him to waste his life away, "waiting" for a happiness that never comes. There is love, but it's directed from the women to the man and garners almost none of the book's attention, forcing the reader to conclude that the main point of the book is to serve as a cautionary tale, an inoculation of sorts against the inertia of settling for what others tell you you want, of taking the path most-trodden. Also, I kind of hate Hemingway, so Jin's writing style doesn't do him any favors. In any case, Chang-rae Lee is clearly the cooler dude.
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