Pamela Scott's Reviews > Day

Day by A.L. Kennedy
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it was ok
bookshelves: al-kennedy

Day just didn’t work for me. I really wanted to enjoy it. I’ve wanted to read more of Kennedy since I loved Everything You Need. I’ve seen Day in the library numerous times and thought it sounded great. Kennedy doesn’t pull it off with Day.

STRUCTURE: Kennedy doesn’t number the chapters in Day. The chapter started a few lines down from the top so you knew when you were starting a new one. This niggled me a bit. I like to flick through to the next chapter so I can judge how long it is so I know if I have enough time to read it. Day has a lot of time shifts and the narrative moves from Alfred making the movie back to various memories of his experiences in the war. The transition was not as smooth as it could have been. I got a bit lost a few times and took a few pages to figure out where I was. Kennedy uses a mix of third and second person often in the same chapter. This does not work and made the whole narrative a bit disjointed. I really enjoyed the writing at times but there are fairly large sections when the whole novel becomes a bit of a rambling, incoherent mess.

PLACE: I didn’t get any real impression of the world Kennedy was trying to create in Day. I thought I would enjoy the time shifts to Alfred’s experiences in the war. I didn’t get any real sense the war was happening. It was all a big vague and wishy-washy. I wanted to read a world so real that I felt like I was part of the war. Kennedy doesn’t pull this off. I didn’t feel the world Kennedy tried to create in Day. It was too bland.

CHARACTERISATION: The whole narrative is told from Alfred’s perspective. I found this suffocating at times. Kennedy makes it clear Alfred has been traumatised by the war. He is damaged. Kennedy doesn’t make it clear enough why he has been damaged. He was a prisoner of war but Kennedy failed to make me care enough about him. The other characters including Joyce and his crew in the war are little more than blurry outlines. I got no real sense of who any of these people were. Alfred wasn’t enough to carry the story. I was indifferent to his plight. I found the constant switching from second to third person very intrusive. I have no issue with a writer creating a complex narrative. This can be excellent and powerful if done well. This is not the case with Day. The thoughts in italics also grated. I just didn’t like Alfred enough and the other characters were bland nobody’s.

PLOT: I wasn’t all that impressed with the story Kennedy offers in Day. Alfred decides to get over the horror of being a prisoner of war in World War II by acting as a prisoner of war in a movie about World War II? Huh? I didn’t buy this premise. I found it weird that Alfred was going to star in a movie only a few years after the war ended. I just thought this was odd. I think Day would have been stronger if Alfred starred in the movie years after the war. I also found his age odd. He’s only 25. I didn’t find his story compelling enough. I thought Day would be a good read about the horrors of war and post-traumatic stress disorder. Kennedy falls to deliver.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 6, 2015 – Shelved
August 6, 2015 – Shelved as: al-kennedy
August 6, 2015 – Finished Reading

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