Mayda's Reviews > What You Have Left

What You Have Left by Will Allison
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's review
Apr 04, 2011

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bookshelves: first-reads
Read from April 20 to 21, 2011

Everybody has problems, but it seems like the people in Will Allison’s novel, What You Have Left, have nothing but problems. And how do they cope with these problems? They lie, cheat, smoke, gamble, sleep around, vandalize, kill, commit suicide, drink, run away, and abandon a child. And yet, throughout it all, we can’t help but hope that they will solve their problems, straighten out their lives, and achieve a sense of peace and happiness. The novel is told by different characters, sometimes in first person, sometimes in third person, and the time frame skips around, but rather than hindering the flow the of the story, it actually facilitates the telling. In this manner, Allison avoids the dreary details that can drag down a story, by simply referring to the things that have occurred as though they are common knowledge. Thus we are spared details of people marrying, changing jobs, and so forth. This novel is a fascinating study of people and how they cope with the problems they created themselves as well as those thrust upon them. I received this book free from Goodreads First Reads.
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