Eric's Reviews > Next

Next by James Hynes
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's review
Dec 15, 2010

it was ok
Read from December 10 to 12, 2010

** spoiler alert ** The brunt of my criticism is aimed at the main character and the plot. Although I do not care for these aspects of the book, the author has a knack for giving excellent detail. I have not read anything from this author before, so this is my first impression. I give the book two stars.

Maybe my view of this book is tainted because it is about a mid-life crisis and I am only mid-twenties. However, I am a male originally from the midwest and can relate at least on some level.

I understand the use of an anti-hero to tell a great story, but this protagonist never reveals anything redeeming. This book tells the story of a pathetic midwestern man who is never happy with his current situation. The main character is incredibly selfish and cares only about himself. There is no sense of compassion in the man.

The book takes place in one day, following the character on his trip to Austin. He takes the trip because he is contemplating leaving his much younger girlfriend and is in town for an interview. He has some time to kill before the interview, so he creepily follows around some young hot thing all over the city that reminds him of some other hot thing he once had. That goes awry and he meets another woman whom, despite her generosity and apparent need for a shoulder, he does not give respect. Then his cab driver is clearly distressed over news pumping over the radio, but he blatantly ignores him and doesn't pay him for the cab fare. He is just as rude to the staff in the lobby of the building where he is interviewing. The major plot twist occurs and he witnesses a woman die (partly to do with his lack of action). Her significant other calls on her cell phone left behind and he refuses to give him any information about the woman. After that, he finds himself trapped with the last person he will ever see. Again, he just criticizes her over her blind faith. Then he decides he has no other choice than to kill himself in dramatic fashion. Obviously, there are far greater details given in the book, but they do not save this character.

The character is terrible and the story told along the way is also not compelling.

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