Feb 13, 12
Read in February, 2012
I was waffling between 3 and 4 stars... I really did enjoy this book quite a bit, I'm just not sure how memorable it'll be over time. I think that's partially because I have read so many "ensemble cast" character-based novels recently, where all the characters end up with their lives intertwining, that I'm starting to get them confused. I wonder if the contemporary literature genre is just flush with this type of story structure right now for some reason, or if I'm just particularly drawn to it? I think I might just be drawn to it--even though there's nothing particularly clever about a bunch of characters joining up by the end of a book, it just appeals to me because it feels sort of like a puzzle, and that adds an element of interest to the story.
Anyway--this one was set in London, and it's one of those books where the city is also a character... I love those. There is also this random bicyclist who almost runs down every character--that was random and didn't really have any repercussions, but I guess it ties the characters together in the reader's mind. There are pathetic characters, passionate ones, endearing ones, sad ones, mentally ill ones, and ones you love to hate (my favorites!). The almost delusionally snobbish book reviewer was my favorite (he thinks everyone else is stupid, and that all novels written past the Victorian age are horrible)--you just want to wring his neck the whole time, and I loved every minute of it.