saadia k's Reviews > The Saskiad

The Saskiad by Brian Hall
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's review
Jul 09, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: growing-up
Read in August, 2009

This is one strange book. Absurd at times, pretentious throughout, great in theory and horrifying in reality. I couldn't stop envisioning Brian Hall (the author) writing the prose of 12-, 13-, and 14-year-old sexual awakenings (ever-present, might I add), particularly the parts wherein they intersect with older, mostly paternal figures. It gave me the heebie-jeebies, and it's not just because I'm a prude reader. There were moments when I thought: "Aha! If only the whole book could be like this" because they were rich and beautiful, but those moments were unfortunately few. Mostly I found obscure allusions, rambling and fragmented realities, and pictures half-illuminated ... and not in charming, engaging, or brilliant ways. This reaction is not for lack of knowing what Hall was talking about -- it just seemed like so, so, so much posturing I couldn't take it. And it did not, to me, weave together the multiple realities of a precocious 12-year-old, it left them floundering in the prose of a 40-year-old man. Things just didn't jive here for me.
I wish I could have liked it better, because I love the idea of a coming-of-age story about a girl living on a defunct commune in upstate New York, whose imagination produces multiple literary realities in which she lives. I love that she has a South-Asian best friend who gets her and enters into her realities. But the execution of the story I do not love. And ultimately, I don't love Saskia or any of the other characters -- not a single one.
So clearly, not the book for me. I did give it two stars, however, because I don't regret having read it. Like the star says, it was OK....

if only just so.
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Reading Progress

07/09/2009 page 11
08/21/2009 page 165
43.42% "took a super long break from this one, but finally getting reading... let's just say it's iiinteresting."
08/24/2009 page 309
81.32% "pushing through this bizarre pseudo-tome. emphasis on bizarre. and pseudo-."
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