Taylor's Reviews > White Palace

White Palace by Glenn Savan
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Mar 31, 10

Read in March, 2010

I waver between one and two stars for this one. On the one hand, I couldn't put it down, but on the other, there were a lot of jarring and almost cheap moments that verged on misogyny. I don't think those moments were intentional, which actually makes them more unsettling. The character of Nora is always described in the most unflattering terms, and until the very end it's made clear that she's not good enough for Max (because she's older and poor and uneducated and has had a hard life, all of which are circumstances beyond her control). While her coarseness serves as an aphrodisiac for Max, it also situates him as superior to her, and he never really learns anything--I have a feeling we're meant to believe that he does, but that's so sloppily implied that I don't buy it. So I guess, actually, I kind of hated this book and its entire tone of white male chauvinism, but it was oddly compelling, so two stars it is. I wouldn't recommend it to any of my female friends, though. It really is pretty offensive. The movie version, while soapy to the extreme, is much better.
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