Kenny's Reviews > Union Atlantic

Union Atlantic by Adam Haslett
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's review
Apr 08, 2010

liked it

Sherman Alexie wrote in "Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" that good books give you boners. Union Atlantic should qualify under this criteria...and for its special shout outs to Williams College (page 125), Keats (203), Whitman (224), and a tiny photo of Kafka on the wall of a dorm room of a gay college student who just sounds cute (296) - "Alex had asked her what Nate's status was-gay or straight, available or taken" (295).

But (and this is a big but), the characters are so unlikable, each one of them, that reading became an exercise in futility. Having been to a party, like the Fourth of July one, but on the opposite side. The scene was well-rendered (I could see this being a movie...but who to play Doug? Jude Law? Someone bigger?) but it was so plainly fake. There was so much of this that seemed fake. I loved his short stories - Haslett undoubtedly has an ability to reach emotional depths - because at least they were lovingly fake. This felt so contrived, at times (almost, but not quite as bad as Da Vinci Code), that what it could have spoken to about our current polito-economic environment, didn't feel like it did.

I still recommend it, if at the very least, for the sex scenes.
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