Al's Reviews > Stone Arabia

Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta
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's review
Aug 09, 2011

it was ok
Read from August 01 to 02, 2011

A weird thing happens a few times where a change in narrator (from 1st person to 3rd) is signaled by nothing more than a page break. It really threw me off the first time it happened.

I'm really surprised that some of the other negative reviews I've seen (on goodreads, anyway) direct their disdain primarily at the two main characters, who are apparently "losers". If being middle-aged, cash poor and lonely makes them losers, then sure, but how often is a compelling novel written about a "winner"? (And who among us should be so lucky, etc?) My main problem with the book is that it's uneven. The titular town even comes from a sort of subplot about the primary narrator's obsession with human interest type news events, which subplot feels shoehorned into the more interesting story of her brother's life & music, a story that was ultimately anticlimactic itself.
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Matthew I liked it better than you, but I can understand your problem with the town. That part could have been excised or expanded, but as it stood it detracted from the rest of the story. As to the people thinking the characters are "losers," thats just funny. We'd rather read novels about successful bankers who get divorced, I suppose.

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