David's Reviews > Apex Hides the Hurt

Apex Hides the Hurt by Colson Whitehead
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's review
Jul 15, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2007

Whitehead writes well, but shows signs of being a serious one-trick pony. How rich is the "outsider from out of town" story lode anyway? Not rich enough to support three books, that's for sure.

Colson Whitehead - (the novels; haven't read "The Colossus of New York")

So, I didn't totally get "The Intuitionist", but I kind of liked it anyway. The world of elevator inspectors didn't exactly thrill me, however, and the main character seemed disconnected from the world at large.

"John Henry Days" was kind of irritating, but had some good riffs. Can't really relate to the main character, who seems more like a literary construct than a real person. Now that I think of it, that was a bit of a problem with "The Intuitionist" as well. Ultimately, the riffs didn't mitigate the irritation.

"Apex Hides the Hurt". Well whoop-di-doo! Whaddya know - another novel featuring an emotionally disconnected main character who rides in from out of town. For what? To get off a couple of cheap shots about such modern phenomena as "naming consultants". To make some not very profound observation about place names and history? At least it was short.

Dude, enjoy your MacArthur grant, but until I read a review which indicates that your next work actually features a main character who is not terminally disconnected from his/her fellow humans, I'll take a raincheck. (Why am I not surprised that Jonathan Franzen is giving you good reviews?) You have the talent. But you seem to be sticking in a rut.

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