On the confessional trauma scale, definitely a four-star book. Oh my God is this unpleasant. Smeary, spongy, oily, gritty: an inventory of the book's contents is like an inventory of a pool of fresh vomit.
I wrote that in 2010, when I'd just started taking notes on books. I'm sorry, looking back on these sparse sentences in 2020, that I did not write a longer review. This book, more than many others I've read in the last year, has really stayed with me. Its flaws ru ...more
What I wrote about it in 2005:
I can't even tell you how incredibly blown away I was by this book. It really took my breathe away. If you only read one book in 2005, make it this one. An alcoholic's rambling stream of conscious, as she ruins her life, and others, again and again. So intense. So well-written. Wow.
In many ways this book is a cautionary tale about alcohol. The repetition in the novel is essential to show the patterns of the drinker but because she writes so well and each event moves the plo ...more
Told in a stream of consciousness that sometimes doubts itself, this is the story of an alcoholic. In fact, I believe it is the story of two alcoholics, and how they intertwine, disease and all. But I mainly only saw the leading lady.
The style is quite different than other things I've read, even other British things, and that was part of the appeal. The language is largely big and deep ...more
If there's one point of consensus in reviews of Kennedy's latest novel, it's that she is a masterful stylist. The fork in the road for critics of Paradise, the British author's fifth U.S. release, is the subject matter. Her supporters are impressed that the book avoids a tumble into bleak self-pity. Hannah is a perceptive, funny guide to her own dissolution. But the detractors__a distinct minority__see Hannah's ability to express herself and her inability to solve her problems as a narrative fai...more