Kelly's Reviews > Await Your Reply

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon
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's review
Jun 17, 11

bookshelves: favorites, fun, liked-the-ending, whoa

I liked this book because it was extremely satisfying in about 700 different ways. First, I was into it right from the start. I mean, from the very start. Normally, when I have a whole ton of books out of the library at a time, I read the first bit of a lot of them before settling on the book I’m in the mood for at the time. I didn’t put this one down once I picked it up, and I often found myself doing that thing where I had to go back and read a page over, because I was pushing through the book so quickly that I was actually reading whole passages and not absorbing it in my race to get to the end.

Secondly, I figured out where the book was going, but not totally. I don’t know about you, but when I figure out the whole story before the end of the book, I’m pretty irritated, but some of you might be vindicated in an “ah HA, I KNEW it!” kind of way, and I think this book appeals to both types. I was able to figure out a chunk of where the book was going, but was still trying to put together pieces right until the very end, which kept the book interesting. On top of being vindicated at the end when realizing I had figured out a good portion of the ending, there was still more. I mean, a whole big piece that I had just not put together.

Thirdly, the book ends really well. Not so well that it has one of those epilogues that gives a nice, neat update on each character’s resolution and what they’re up to now, but well enough that it’s not like the end of LOST, where there’s about 1700 unanswered questions and no hope of getting them answered. The end definitely wraps up the book clearly, tying the book itself up in a clear package, but doesn’t really give you anything outside the scope of the book. It pulls everything together without forcing over-explanatory information onto you at the end. You know how at the end of every episode, when Monk figures out what happened, he walks you through the whole thing, putting together all of the clues into one cohesive picture? There’s none of that. You can do that on your own time, this isn’t the USA network.

Fourthly, I won’t say there’s a twist, because I truly don’t think there is a twist, but there is one final piece of information that becomes clear as the book is wrapping up, and even that is not spelled out for you, which is good, because that would be insulting. Just one final little piece that you can add on to everything you’ve already read, if you want to – I suppose some people might ignore it, or not see the significance and kind of miss the whole point – but I will say that the payoff at the end of this book is more payoff-y than anything I have read in a long time.

I think, all in all, I can just say that I was extremely pleased with this book on all fronts – how it held my attention, the writing itself, the story and the pace of the story, and the ending that I stayed up quite late to finish. I don’t think it’s a book of any great consequence that is going to stay with me forever, and while I’ve already said it and it’s an extremely generic descriptor, even this morning I remain quite pleased with the book.
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