Emily's Reviews > The Hair of Harold Roux

The Hair of Harold Roux by Thomas    Williams
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Mar 12, 2012

it was ok

I have absolutely no idea how this book ended up in my reading pile; I can only assume it was because it won a national book award in the 70s and I must have read a glowing review or something; apparently I should have known better. It IS well written, but that redeems very little to me when the main character (in fact most of the characters) are unlikable and the plot uninteresting. This is a novel inside a novel: mid-life-crisis-author writing a quasi autobiographical book about his time at college. Man angst alternating with boy angst, both versions of the narrator pretty unpleasant. I'm sure the prose is well crafted and "superb" as one review said, but a book never wins me over if I don't like its characters, and in this book they range from whiny to useless to wilfully ignorant to downright nasty with almost no exceptions. So, if you enjoy language that "flows from the purest vernacular to the elevations demanded by distilled perception" (Washington Post Book World) then do pick this up, but if you prefer a more directed plot and less testosterone angst with your distilled perception, maybe give it a miss.
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