David's Reviews > Parasites Like Us

Parasites Like Us by Adam Johnson
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's review
Dec 14, 2010

really liked it
Read in December, 2010

It took me a long, long time to finish Parasites Like Us. This is where I'd normally explain that the book couldn't keep my attention and that I finished it only to see it through to the bitter end, etc. But not this time. Nope, the book itself is not to blame at all. I was just having a hard time fitting reading into my daily schedule. So it's perhaps remarkable that when Parasites would veer off into a tangent or two, or when I found myself disliking some of his characters, Johnson's writing always kept me engrossed and interested.

I read fiction books for entertainment, so metaphors and the "meanings" of books are often simply lost on me. I don't read a chapter and think, "gee, I wonder if these characters represent the political structure of Weimar-era Germany?" But occasionally I'll read a book and contemplate the broader context of its contents. Certainly, I found myself trying to connect the events of the first three quarters of Parasites to the last quarter. I haven't made any leaps of understanding, but there are some great ironies to be found.

Again, Adam Johnson's writing: some of the descriptions near the end of the book were so good, they were thrilling on their own. He has a real talent for word choice and visualization. I would love to see what Johnson would do with a pure fantasy or science fiction world completely apart from our own. Apparently he has a forthcoming book which takes place in North Korea...so perhaps we'll get to find out!
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