Darrenglass's Reviews > Mr. Peanut

Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross
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Jun 07, 12

really liked it

Not exactly an uplifting read.

Ross's novel is about three marriages, all of which are happy at times but unhappy at far more times. And as we learn about the three we learn that all three husbands have fantasized about killing their wives -- and early in the book we learn that one of the wives has turned up dead from eating peanuts despite a severe allergy. Is her husband responsible for the death, either directly or indirectly? That is what the other two men are investigating, and it is through the course of their investigation that we learn about their marriages, each of which has some problems, to put it lightly.

Through the whole book we (almost) only hear the husband's voices and so we only hear one side of the story (a fact that the author implicitly acknowledges through a character named Mr. Mobius. Get it? Like a Mobius strip?). While some reviewers find this one-sidedness sexist, as we only hear men complaining about their wives, I don't think this book glamorizes the men in any way, and hearing their internal monologues probably damns them more than anything the women in the book would say.

Ross is a good writer, and he packs many interesting ideas into this novel. It won't be for everyone, due to its darkness and its constant shifting of narrators and structural experimentation. But I rather liked it, finding it a compelling read.
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