William's Reviews > Open City

Open City by Teju Cole
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M 50x66
's review
May 23, 2012

it was ok

This is a book about a guy walking around NYC and reflecting on what he sees and his past. Some of the insights are fascinating and brilliant. But, even appreciating the slow pace, I really didn't enjoy the book. It's building to something, but without much of a plot. This makes the author's observations, notes, and the events feel disconnected from each other. As a result, the insights and observations feel somewhat meaningless - maybe this is more realistic and reflective of real life and how someone thinks through things they are faced with, but it didn't make the book special, to me. This is probably a trite example, but it maybe is illustrative (the book lacks themes): for example, the cover has a picture of a bird on it. Not to ruin things, but birds aren't discussed at all in the book until the last 3 pages. There was nothing profound about the discussion either, instead, it felt like a stretch to make you think there was something in the book that wasn't really there.

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