Rachel Jones's Reviews > Swimming

Swimming by Nicola Keegan
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Jul 14, 2010

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Read from July 14 to 28, 2010

Nicola Keegan writes Swimming exactly the way a person thinks when he or she is logging long hours in the pool. If you've ever swam competitively, you'll know what I'm talking about. Every thought, every memory, every conversation plus the taste of chlorine blends together in an internal dialogue that no one else can respond to.

This book is written entirely in that stream of consciousness style, which isn't one I typically like, but it works well here. I'm giving this book 3 stars on the strength of the first two thirds of the book, and for passages like these:

"This is the human body, and this is sugar. Teeth chew, sugar dissolves, teeth rot, falling. Planetary eyeball orbits contract, sugar laughs, igniting a fiery red trail that fuses straight to the heart, giving it a false sense of energy so that it ups its thumps. Sugar laughs harder, driving a truck straight into the human spleen. It jumps out, dances a jig, and the spleen dances with it for a while before collapsing from exhaustion. The pituitary, the epicenter of the human hormonal universe, goes haywire, trembles, barfing up some insulin, which sucks all the leftover energy from the human body, causing the human swim to collapse."

Brilliant!!! I can't give this book 4 or 5 stars because, as other goodreaders have mentioned, the last third of this novel disintegrates to the point where I'm not sure what's going on and I feel like I'm watching a David Lynch movie. Also, the main character, Pip, never really seems to learn anything from all her time spent achieving Olympic gold, relating to others, and dealing with a troubling home life. There's no redemption for her or point to her story, which just left me depressed about a character I'd spent 300 pages getting to know.
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message 1: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Nice review. Are you some kind of an English major, or a professional writer?????

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