Liz's Reviews > The Known World

The Known World by Edward P. Jones
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's review
Aug 21, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: 2008
Read in January, 2008

Hate is a very strong word, but it's fairly close to how I feel about this book. First of all, I would like to say that there were absolutely some very interesting, original thoughts, characters, and side stories in the novel. I did 'enjoy' how the author was able to slip a little subplot in that helped tie the book to historical fact.


I have many complaints about this book, I will acknowledge that the author has more writing ability than I do, he knows more history, etc. etc. etc. etc. Fine, but wow! He simply wrote too many characters. He intermingled their past, present and future in one sentence. He danced back and forth from generations in a single paragraph. Perhaps I'm way off – I'm open to criticism, but I found some parts of the novel very inconsistent.

(Ex: A mother is admiring her son's newly built home, stating how luxurious it is to have a second floor, commenting to her husband on how wonderful it is, as they never had one… then the next page is a flashback – If I'm remembering correctly, I refuse to open that book again – the father is exhausted and all he can think about it climbing the stairs and going to bed… hm… sounds like they did have a second floor…)

It took me well over 2 weeks to finish this book, and I would never recommend it. I found the writing style to be too simple occasionally, and far from consistent. Characters whom I thought to be important were dropped to be hardly mentioned again… I could go on and on, but it's making me angry.

I can't believe that this book won any award, especially the Pulitzer. ARG! It goes back to my long ago theory that one person reads a book that they don't really 'get' so they tell everyone how wonderful it is… many people are too lazy to draw their own conclusions or to go against the majority so they rave about the book, politics must play a part… next thing you know it's this season's 'must read'…. then it wins a prize… ARG!

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