George's Reviews > The Surrendered

The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee
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's review
Mar 31, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: lacpl-ebook, nook-ereads
Read from June 07 to 15, 2011


“Surely there were malcontents and miscreants here like anywhere else.”—page 275

In his aptly named novel, ‘The Surrendered,’ Chang Rae Lee paints a portrait of life as a dark, dank, bottomless cesspool of suffering and misery, bereft of any hope at relief. Virtually all of his characters are mega-magnets of misery, without benefit of any “socially redeeming qualities.”

Please. Give me at least one character I can like.

That said, the first one hundred or so pages of this novel seriously flirted with a 5-star rating because of what I thought to be very compelling storytelling. Midway through the story, however, the wheels seemed to come off—when the overly contrived closing scenes in Fort Lee, New Jersey, 1986, managed to stretch my credulity beyond the breaking point—and the narrative seemed to spiral into a total train wreck from there.

Recommendation: Since I can’t be tempted to read anything else by this writer, ever, I cannot seriously recommend this novel to anyone.

“The force of numbers held for even the weak and the ragged.”—page 9

Adobe Ditgital Editions ePub, 373 pages

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