Maya Panika's Reviews > The Breaking of Eggs

The Breaking of Eggs by Jim Powell
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May 30, 10

Read in May, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Though an intriguing and original story, I found The Breaking of Eggs lacking in depth. The characters felt two dimensional, they seemed like constructs created to carry an idea, rather than the other way around, none of them talk like real people, none of them worked for me. Why did Rene refuse the mother’s address to his supposed friend Woodrow? I sort-of understand him wanting to wound Felix (though his aversion to the man feels very badly handled, it never really rings true) but to his good friend, a man he’s supposed to love and admire…? It seems unusually cruel to the poor old lady too, his actions leave her trapped in the Eastern Bloc Rene purports to loathe.

Why does Felix like Rene? It’s stated repeatedly that he does but it’s never explained, it simply ‘is’. Felix is a man apparently dedicated to his cause, Rene is firmly, aggressively, on the opposite side of the political spectrum, he’s been working against Felix from the start, then he commits an inexplicably cruel act in denying both brothers their mother’s location, yet Felix likes him, seeks out his company. It makes NO sense.

Why didn’t his girlfriend leave a note for Felix? That, too, is never satisfactorily explained, it’s just another crudely constructed event contrived to drive the plot. The story is full of these irritating holes and by the last third of the book they were making me very irritable.

In short, it’s a good idea that just didn’t work for me as a novel.
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message 1: by Natalie (new) - added it

Natalie O'donnell And it irritated the hell out of me when the dying mother, in her last words to her beloved sons, suddenly started going on a tirade about Stalin. Like you said - the characters were there to say what the author wanted to say and none of it was genuine. Yes we get it - Stalin was awful. No need to hammer the point home with a clumsy sledgehammer.


Maya Panika Well, exactly. It's a long time ago (checking... Gosh, almost 5 years) since I read it, and I don't remember a lot about it now, but I remember at the time, this book getting such a lot of press and people raving about it and I just didn't get it at all. I'm thrilled to find someone who finally agrees with me!


message 3: by Natalie (new) - added it

Natalie O'donnell Haha! Well I only just read it and I am freshly irritated.


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