Melani's Reviews > The Vagrants
by Yiyun Li
by Yiyun Li
Apr 02, 2009
This is a very well written book. It was like being given the power to see into the minds of men and women. The pity was that their minds were so wracked and sickened that you found yourself reading faster and faster so that you could escape from them -- escape from the spaces in peoples minds and lives that were so intimate -- escape from a despair that was so cloying you could hardly tolerate it. I did not give this book four stars because some of the incidents in the novel were so graphic that they seemed intended to manipulate my sentiments -- and drew attention to themselves. Some of the private moments were, frankly, too private, too intimate. To leave so many characters stripped bare of their secrets in the fog of their confusion seemed unfair. I do think that the book is an accurate portrayal of the way that a repressive society breeds suspicion and betrays intimacy. The characters were very human -- but all their faces were set in sadness -- and all of their hearts broken. There was not one person in the novel who did not end up disappointed in the way things turned out.
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