Tatum's Reviews > When God was a Rabbit

When God was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman
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Mar 11, 12

bookshelves: contemporary-fiction, read-in-2012
Read from March 03 to 10, 2012

I don't even know where to begin. I was going to try to write the review without spoilers but I'm not sure if I can. Let's start off by saying this was a Book Club read. Had it not been I would gladly have abandoned it several times but since it was, I slogged on always hoping it would get better. It didn't. It got worse.

This book is told through memories, sometimes fragmented, sometimes perhaps flawed, certainly using too many pronouns that leave you guessing who the narrator is referring to and all just disjointed views into the past life of Elly, the protagonist. Imagine if scenes from a book were playing out in front of you with a strobe light flashing on and off, one moment illuminating the next plunging everything into darkness. Now imagine that these are scenes playing out on several stages but you only get to see one at a time and that you are watching a speed frame of 30+ years. There you go, that's the narration style.

Then there are the actual events. Everything that could be bad or different or cliche or you name it happens to the protagonist or her family/limited circle of acquaintance. Everything. Like a really bad soap opera. Only in soap operas they hit you over the head with things and explain the entire plot ad infinitum. Not in this book. No, here we are given all these pieces and allusions and the occasional blatant reference and then cast away in more ramblings. There are so many things crammed into this book (which isn't that long, but seems to go on forever) that the author can't possibly deal with them all, not that she appears to try. There are more things left hanging, not explained, half explored, not resolved...

People have said it's an honest portrayal of life growing up... if the above paragraph isn't enough to dissuade you that it probably isn't, I happen to have grown up in this era. I am approximately the same age as the protagonist and I actually grew up in a pretty liberal thinking family. And no, it isn't. The way she deals with certain issues are far more 90s than 70s. People just did not talk that way, react that way, deal with things in that fashion. Didn't happen. So maybe she was supposed to come from the most unique family ever, I don't know. But don't portray it like everyday life please.

I can't think of the last time a book has annoyed me more. And because I must rant somewhere about some part of the book at least, here is my spoiler: (view spoiler)
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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SharHops OMG! I'm almost at the end of this book, and I have the exact same feelings as you. I am dying just trying to finish it. The whole 9/11 thing is very random, then again, the whole book is random!

Very good review of it.
Cheers.


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