Rebecca's Reviews > Etta and Otto and Russell and James

Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper
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If the setup of Emma Hooper’s debut novel sounds familiar, that is because she borrows liberally from Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Still, Etta and Otto and Russell and James is unique in some aspects. It vacillates between the stylistic extremes of minimalism and magic realism and, more so than Harold Fry, relies on the interplay between past and present, with flashbacks to Etta’s and Otto’s childhoods as well as to Otto’s war service.

(For me, though, Etta’s journey felt pointless, as did the mystical ending. I also don’t get on well with hugely twee books.)

Full review in March 2015 issue of Third Way magazine.
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Reading Progress

October 11, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
October 11, 2014 – Shelved
January 19, 2015 – Started Reading
January 20, 2015 –
page 209
January 21, 2015 – Shelved as: magic-realism
January 21, 2015 – Shelved as: read-via-netgalley
January 21, 2015 – Shelved as: reviewed-third-way
January 21, 2015 – Shelved as: twee
January 21, 2015 – Shelved as: epistolary
January 21, 2015 – Shelved as: style-over-substance
January 21, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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BooksnFreshair (Poornima Apte) I couldn't get past much of it either.

Rebecca I read the whole thing, and only in a few days...but it just felt like a Harold Fry rip-off with some pointless magic realism.

message 3: by Larry (new)

Larry H I just downloaded a sample off of Amazon. It seemed sweet but totally like Harold Fry.

BooksnFreshair (Poornima Apte) I almost read the whole thing but the magical realism part wasn't working for me. I don't know, maybe I read too much of the hype before going in.

message 5: by Sue (new) - added it

Sue Oh...I was hoping for good things here.

message 6: by Rose (new) - added it

Rose I keep thinking this is just like Harold Fry, but not as well done. It was too disjointed for me.

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