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The Mars Room
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Archive: Other Books > The Mars Room - Rachel Kushner - 2 stars

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Susie | 4488 comments I have made the mistake of leaving it too long between finishing a book and writing a review, so this will be brief. This was my short Instagram review straight after I read it.

I get that it's an important topic highlighting social disadvantage and it's assoiation with incarceration and recidivism, along with abuses of power, but I just did not dig it an ultimately felt bored. I should have just watched an episode or two of Orange is the New Black.

Nearly a month on, I haven't retained much of the book which is telling. It tells me I'm old. ;-)


Meli (melihooker) | 3673 comments I wasn't sure if she meant the book to be commentary or if it was the unavoidable outcome of writing a book around prison / justice system.

Either way, the message fell flat.

I love her writing, but looking at reviews of other Kushner books it seems they get a similar response.

I believe eventually she will get it right. Her writing is too good to be dulled by 'meh' stories.


Susie | 4488 comments Flat is the perfect word for it.


message 4: by Jillian (new) - added it

Jillian | 10 comments Ugh, this is sitting on my table...maybe I’ll hold off for a little longer.


KateNZ | 2666 comments It’s a very worthy book in many ways, and some of the writing is beautiful. There are also a couple of startlingly dramatic episodes that show what Kushner can do when everything comes together. So if it helps at all Jillian, I’m glad I persisted with it, though I can’t say I enjoyed the process and there were times that I could cheerfully have thrown it at the wall. It just gets so bogged down in the importance of its message and there’s a load of stuff that doesn’t take the story anywhere, sigh.


message 6: by Meli (last edited Sep 05, 2018 08:02AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Meli (melihooker) | 3673 comments This was a book I was so tempted to buy, but was relieved I opted to borrow from the library.

BUT, as I have said here and in my review, her writing is beautiful and Kushner is an undeniable talent. So giver her a try, maybe this book will speak to you.


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