Eva's Reviews > Fatigue Artist

Fatigue Artist by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
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Nov 18, 07

Read in November, 2007

I am reading this book in my first trimester of pregnancy. At one point, a character compares chronic fatigue syndrome to my state. There are a lot of similarities, and you can consider that as having made me biased towards the book & its protagonist, although in which direction, I'm not sure.

My fundamental problem with this book is that it really never draws you into the story. It's a narrative told entirely from the point of view of Laura, a writer with chronic fatigue syndrome, and follows her life through the course of her several months' illness. During this time, she contemplates love, life, her work, everything in between, but the author of the novel fails to ever get Laura or us, the readers, out of Laura's head and into Laura's world. Thus, it is a very plodding read.

The only passages that resonated with me were the ones about Q, her sometimes lost and sometimes not love and their relationship. The entire novel could have focused there and been a much more compelling story. But instead, he is just thrown in every now and then in the cast of mostly entirely tedious characters that seem to wander through Laura's life and illness. In fact, finding out what resolution, if any, she reaches with Q was my only reason (besdies stubborness and being too ill to go find a book outside of arm's reach) to finish reading the Fatigue Artist, and (SPOILER) absolutely nothing happens or is resolved. In my opinion, the author just hasn't written a tight enough novel to leave her readers hanging like that without appearing, simply, to lazy or too short on ideas to finish what she started.
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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

People with chronic fatigue syndrome often having difficulty thinking so its amazing when they are able to write a book. I was diagnosed with it in 1993 and MCTD (mixed connective tissue disorder) which is similar. In Europe CFDIS is called ME and is recognzied as a brain illness but in this country our CDC msssed everything up making it into a big joke. A very good book about CFIDS is Osler's Web. I also recommend Running on Empty and Betrayal by the Brain.


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