Release Date: October 11, 2011
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
Source: Library Loan
Genre: General Fiction
Review Date: April 2, 2012
Rating: 1 bookmark
This book was sadly a serious let down. I really expected a lot more based on the reviews I read. In addition to the reviews, this author won a Pulitzer, which contributed to my high expectation. I don’t enjoy giving bad reviews, so I won’t come down too hard on this book, but I must admit I actually fell to sleep twice while trying to read this book! And trust me, this never happens!!! The boring cover art is a good representation of what you are going to be reading. In my personal opinion, none of the characters in the book are remotely likable. They are all really pathetic. Madeline is a sorry, sappy needy young woman. Mitchell is a lovelorn man who doesn’t get the woman of his dreams and he spends the entire book wishing that he and Madeline would somehow be together. Leonard, clinically, manically depressed Leonard. That description sums up his character. All in all, the characters are full of teenage angst. Too much of it. There is no light at the end of the tunnel for any of them. Leonard is the only one who even has a “pass” on how sad his character is and that’s only because he is genuinely sick. In my personal opinion, there is no real character growth for any of these unfortunate characters. How the characters are in the beginning is how they are at the end of the book.
Speaking of the end, there was no real ending. I guess it’s subjective and we are suppose to have all these theories and such about the ending. I believe this author was writing for Ivy league English majors. I think his intention was to have so much depth and things for the reader to think about and mull over, which I found profoundly boring. He really used a lot unnecessary words trying to show off his large vocabulary. Included are excerpts from other classic “English lit” reads and that was a little too much for me. To top it off, there is a lot of story line which goes on and on about a lot of authors that I’ve never heard of and have no desire to. In the beginning, for about the first third of the book, I felt as though I was in my freshman year at Brown…being forced to read and theorize books along with the characters …again, boring!
Overall, if you are into these kind of fiction books, go for what you know! You may enjoy it. Personally, this is not what I would consider fun nor thoughtful reading. It was just a waste of a few days time which I could have been reading something else that I’d actually enjoy.