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On the Shelves > "See Now Then" , new Jamaica Kincaid novel

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message 1: by Dee (new)

Dee Dunckley | 40 comments The reviews for the new Jamaica Kincaid novel are intriguing, many have stated that the writing is 'incredible' but her style is incredibly hard to get through, 'poetic prose' etc. Does anyone want to join me in reading it and see how far we get? I have never read her before.


message 2: by Dorisjean (new)

Dorisjean | 36 comments Mod
Dee wrote: "The reviews for the new Jamaica Kincaid novel are intriguing, many have stated that the writing is 'incredible' but her style is incredibly hard to get through, 'poetic prose' etc. Does anyone want..."


message 3: by Dorisjean (new)

Dorisjean | 36 comments Mod
I've not been able to get into Jamaica Kincaid, either. But if you jump in, Dee, I will. (Is there an audiobook version so I can listen during housework & commutes??) :) Hee, hee. Maybe we can pull each other through it. I know she's supposed to be an excellent writer. :)


message 4: by Dee (new)

Dee Dunckley | 40 comments You're on!


message 5: by Shirley (new)

Shirley C | 1 comments Almost stopped reading because of "quarky" style but so glad I continued as I really loved the book and am now reading more of her work. Quite a woman. Also listened to her podcast from Phila Free Library. Interesting.


message 6: by Dee (last edited Apr 02, 2013 03:05PM) (new)

Dee Dunckley | 40 comments Well that is good to hear, if I get 'stuck' I will remember your post and keep going:)


message 7: by Dee (last edited Apr 11, 2013 05:20PM) (new)

Dee Dunckley | 40 comments I just got the book. Have to finish reading some other stuff before I start it, though. It is fairly slim in volume, I think I will be able to manage it. Dorisjean, let me know if you can get the audio version and if we are on. If anyone else wants to join in, please do!


message 8: by Dorisjean (new)

Dorisjean | 36 comments Mod
Dee wrote: "I just got the book. Have to finish reading some other stuff before I start it, though. It is fairly slim in volume, I think I will be able to manage it. Dorisjean, let me know if you can get th..."

I put a hold on it. :)


message 9: by Dee (last edited May 06, 2013 10:30PM) (new)

Dee Dunckley | 40 comments See Now Then: A Novel author
Kincaid, Jamaica isbn0374180563
my rating
3 of 5 stars

Review
Unique writing style, a droning, semi-hypnotic, almost singsong-y feel, after reading for awhile you sort of want to stop (it takes some concentration to keep going, though is not a difficult read) but you also want to finish it! There is no dialogue or rather,is all dialogue, but internal, and not necessarily framed as such. An incompatible marriage, basically, with a slightly unusual backstory to it and very sad. Some emotionally fierce passages that rewind and repeat themselves in the way of certain kinds of oral storytelling, but more so. Hard to generally recommend because of the style, but the writing is good and she has her niche...

DJM, let me know what you thought:)


message 10: by Dorisjean (new)

Dorisjean | 36 comments Mod
Dee wrote: "See Now Then: A Novel author
Kincaid, Jamaica isbn0374180563
my rating
3 of 5 stars

Review
Unique writing style, a droning, semi-hypnotic, almost singsong-y feel, after reading for awhile you ..."


You hit the nail on the head with your review, Dee. I'm still reading, only 1/3 of the way through. When I started reading, I was struck by the same feelings I had when (trying to) read Mrs. Dalloway (Woolf). That same sort of internal stream of consciousness writing. Now, as I get into the book, I'm struck by a kind of parallel with Kate Atkinson's new book Life After Life (loved THAT). Both books touch on how past, present & future can all blend together.

I must say I would not finish the Kincaid book if it wasn't for reading along w/ you, Dee. It IS sad and annoying: the character's internal feelings & hiding them, but simmering underneath. GAH! It makes me feel a bit paranoid, i.e. my friend SAYS she likes me, but what if she really doesn't, underneath? etc. I don't like the spoiled, frustrated this-world-is-not good-enough-for-me b/c I am an artiste" husband. Who signed him up for marriage and fatherhood? Why did he do it if he hated it so much? Blame himself, not his wife & kids. Ergh.


message 11: by Dee (last edited May 09, 2013 04:23PM) (new)

Dee Dunckley | 40 comments Right, the nerve of this guy! I did empathize with his strong city identification and the intense fish-out-of-water syndrome created when he left, in fact there were a couple of paragraphs I felt could have dropped out of my own mouth(!)lol....they had kids so then moving out becomes the 'sensible' thing to do, but he can't adjust and he can't share the loss with the wife, she doesn't share his particular sensibilities at all and is probably just happy to have survived the banana boat in one piece. But sympathy quickly starts to wane for this character for all the reasons you stated. Though later on in the story you get an idea of her brand of awfulness, too, and it's just not a redeemable situation given who they are, at least that's the feeling I got from it. But his daily if not hourly rants of resentment and disgust were hard to digest!


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