Darcia Helle's Reviews > Mule: A Novel of Moving Weight

Mule by Tony D'Souza
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's review
Sep 29, 11

bookshelves: arc-reviews, fiction, general-fiction
Read from September 27 to 29, 2011

For me to enjoy a book, I need to like or connect with at least one of the main characters. I need to care what happens to him/her. That didn't happen with this book. Both James, the narrator, and Kate are lazy, greedy, selfish and childish. I didn't care what happened to them and found the book difficult to read because I couldn't find anything to like about either of them.

I thought the beginning of the book was rushed. James and Kate are a young couple, with money and great jobs. A few pages later, she is pregnant and they have both lost their jobs. I would have liked to get to know more about the people they were before their lives changed and they began making ridiculous choices. Soon after losing their jobs, they decide to move way out in the wilderness where they know there is no chance of finding work. They lie around a lot and seem to have no ambition at all, which I found completely at odds with the high-powered working couple they'd been at the start of the book.

Without giving more of the plot away, I'll just say that other choices made early on didn't make sense to me. This didn't feel like a couple struggling to survive and doing what was necessary, which is what the blurb leads readers to believe. This felt like a couple of spoiled, lazy kids who wanted easy money. As much as I tried, I could find nothing in this one to like.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Lisa I saw this blurb: “Mule is swift, taut, and relentless, both a rip-roaring drug tale and a fascinating portrait of a decent human being whose morals slowly disintegrate under unbearable financial strain.” — Lauren Groff, author of The Monsters of Templeton. I thought your review was much closer to the way the characters actually came across. I did not see them as victims of the recession so much as using the economy as an excuse for their poor decisions. I kind of hated it, but at the same time was compelled to finish it.

Darcia Helle Good to know someone else felt as I did. Sometimes I think I'm reading a different book than everyone else. I know a few people who loved this book, and I just didn't get it.

Like you, I also felt compelled to finish it. I think I was looking for an explanation or something to help me understand the characters better. In the end, all I got was irritated at the time I wasted.

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