Sonia Reppe's Reviews > The Giant's House

The Giant's House by Elizabeth McCracken
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Feb 08, 2012

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bookshelves: literary-fiction
Read in February, 2012

I thought this was a pretty boring "romance." Like the protagonist Peggy would say, I have a "catalogue" of complaints about this book. Number 1 being that people can't be married if they don't have sex. Peggy tells the reader that she and Gigantism James had a "true, real marriage" and then admonishes the reader, "Don't doubt that." I do doubt it, Peggy, because you didn't consummate it with sex of any kind, not even with a kiss that could be called passionate. You weren't married, not even according to the state.

I guess I didn't like Peggy, I thought she was wierd,and not in a funny sympathetic way, just in a boring way. I wish she had more of a life, so that her obsession with this boy with the pituitary gland problem could have had more meaning; like then it would affect other things/ relationships in her life. As it was, she had nothing going on exept working in the library, and so took an interest in him because he was the most interesting in her life. Then she was shocked when she found out he was going to die. (Duh, Peggy. I guess you're not as smart as you think you are).

The opening sentence was jarring: "I do not love mankind." I get that her point of view was supposed to be unique but can't put my finger on why I didn't like Peggy. The writing--her voice--although well-crafted, was dry and dispassionate, with a heavy wistfulness that almost seems contrived to me, since it was so lacking in passion. But that was supossed to be Peggy's character, a practical librarian. A scene that had potential: "I wanted to give him something that could make him forget he was a young man, dying; I wanted to give him a kiss so good he'd forget it was his first." Was immediately followed and ruined by "But I wasn't the woman for that kind of work." That kind of work?

2.5 stars. I liked the scenes when Peggy and James were in New York. Maybe my expectations were too high, since some of my Goodreads friends really liked this book, but I thought it was just OK.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Julie (new)

Julie One of my favorite books- you will love it.

message 2: by Laurel (new)

Laurel read this years ago and reallly liked it

message 3: by Laurel (new)

Laurel really

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