Kyle Warner's Reviews > Landline

Landline by Rainbow Rowell
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really liked it
bookshelves: drama, humor, literature, fantasy

I’m about as far from the intended audience for Landline that you’re gonna get. I don’t dig romances. I’ve never been married. I don’t know who Rainbow Rowell is (oh, she wrote Fangirl? – never read it). I don’t even especially like time travel related stuff. And so on... Landline never registered as a blip on my radar until Goodreads voters named it as one of the best books of the year. So, I figured what the hell, I’ll give it a go... And hey, whaddya know? Landline’s really good.

So basically what we have here is a bittersweet romantic comedy with a Magic Fucking Telephone that talks to the past. Why does the telephone talk to the past? Because Magic Fucking Telephone, that’s why.

Our main characters Georgie and Neal don’t have a perfect marriage. They love each other but they have their problems. When Georgie decides to stay home for the holidays so that she can work on developing her new TV show, her husband Neal takes the kids to visit family without her. Their parting is cold and awkward. Georgie decides to call Neal from her mother’s house, using the landline in her old room, and something strange happens. She slowly comes to realize she is talking with Neal from 15 years ago... Now Georgie is given a chance to look back on her life and her marriage, realize where things went wrong, and ponder whether communicating with the past will change the present.

Rowell is a fantastic writer. Her prose is fast-paced and witty. There’s a wonderful flow to the story. She has a special gift for dialogue. Despite how downbeat the book can get, the stuff I’ll take away from it are the lighter moments. Rowell has a sharp sense of humor and some of the dialogue had me laughing out loud – which is rare.

The characters are complex and likable despite their many flaws. I especially liked the relationship between Georgie and her longtime writing partner Seth. It’s uncommon for writers to even bother with male/female friendships. Seth and Georgie are a great pair and I honestly could’ve read a book about them working on their show together without the whole Magic Fucking Telephone plot.

I do think that Landline overstays its welcome just a bit. Much of the book is working towards the reunion between Georgie and Neal but one can sense Rowell padding the book to delay the finale... Well written padding is still padding.

You know, sometimes it’s fun to read something outside of your favorite genres. I wouldn’t call Landline an eye-opening experience, but it is the work of an immensely talented writer. Funny, smart, and honest. Good book.
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Reading Progress

December 8, 2014 – Shelved
December 8, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
December 14, 2014 – Started Reading
December 20, 2014 – Finished Reading
December 21, 2014 – Shelved as: drama
December 21, 2014 – Shelved as: humor
December 21, 2014 – Shelved as: literature
December 21, 2014 – Shelved as: fantasy

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