Jeffrey Fennelly's Reviews > The Forty Rules of Love

The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
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's review
Sep 08, 11

it was ok
Read in August, 2011

PLEASE APPROACH THIS BOOK WITH CAUTION: if you have standards for style, you will be greatly disappointed. I gave it an extra star only because it taught me a good deal about a culture about which I could claim scant knowledge before reading the book. I found it consistently confounding, a potentially compelling story ruined by weak writing. It seems that while crafting it, the author was either careless, distracted, lazy, or some combination of these. It is painfully loaded with clichés, to a degree made surprising by Shafak's previous accolades. The New Republic's review is perhaps the most accurate I've read, and it struck me as an almost verbatim repeat of my reaction to the book. The most shocking revelation of this review was that Shafak so carefully translated the book herself, going back and forth between Turkish and English to hone its language. It seems she ignored her original, painfully weak choices in the process. This book was a colossal disappointment. Here's the TNR review:
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