Laura Stone Johnson's Reviews > Coral Glynn

Coral Glynn by Peter Cameron
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Mar 28, 12

Read from March 26 to 28, 2012

Gosh, I so wanted to like this book, having been a huge fan of “Sometimes This Pain . . .”, but I just couldn’t get past the stilted, odd dialogue and the frustrating way the characters related – or unrelated – to each other. In an odd combination of Hemingway-esque dialogue that made me ask, Do people really talk this way?, and Camus-esque disorientation these characters seem to be lost in their lives, and the battle to connect, rather than making me root for them, was just too much for me to bear. Cameron is a great writer and he’s put these struggling characters in an existential void where they seem incapable of making choices, they’re unable to fit into society, and they are unhappy with their own identity. When Coral realizes she could easily murder a character and walk away, feeling no emotion whatsoever, she really gives the story an existential boost with her idea of testing the boundaries of society. As Coral floats through life, arbitrarily lying and stealing, it does seem that she can only be defined by how she is revealed by others; she seems formless on her own. I guess I would have liked the book more if there had been some redemption in the end, but I found the ending very disheartening. Characters have made connections but where’s the love? Cameron’s smooth writing and all these issues would make this a great discussion book for groups – and keep in mind; many, many other readers adored the book.
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