Oh, where to even start? I wanted so badly to like this book. The New York Times called it “a trenchant masterpiece,” and it has blurbs from three Nobel Prize winners. So I had sky-high expectations. I anticipated a book that would change my world, that would help me lose twelve pounds and make clear the meaning of life and cure my husband’s erectile dysfunction. This book, while excellent, did none of those things. Threw it across the room on page 20. Ugh. Will not be reading this author again.
The author, a known Liberal, has a clear agenda here in including an African-American neighbor and a “lesbian” boss. I read to be entertained, not to have someone’s politics shoved down my throat. I was going to pass this on to my sister, but instead I recycled the book.
I expected this book, which won the Story Prize and the PEN Malamud award, to be a new favorite. Apparently one of the chapters won an O. Henry award, and O. Henry is a highly respected author. But each chapter started off with a completely new set of characters and even a new title! I didn’t see any connection at all between the various chapters. One took place in 1873, and one was set on a distant planet in the future. I worked so hard to find the connections between the chapters, and just couldn’t find one. Too much work, gave up.