Top critical review
For modern literature, it's tolerable...I guess.
on May 3, 2016
Honestly, not really sure what to make of this book. On many levels, it's what seems to be par for the course in much of the modern literature I've had to study in university thus far - issues of gender, race, class, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum ad infinitum. What's interesting about the book is that the author comes this close to having characters one might actually care about. Sure, all the post-Sartrean sexual coldness is there (and ultimately ruins the book for me), with all its random sexual affairs and explicit descriptions of sex between people who are just having sex because it either seems to be something to do, or because they have some innate longing that is unfulfilled on some level. However, Laurence almost, almost manages to make me care about these characters. The descriptions of the natural surroundings are wonderful, before she dives into the standard modern lit tactic of talking about how something smells like "s***" or something of that sort. It's the blunt renderings of such mysterious and complex aspects of life and nature that drives me insane when it comes to modern lit - Laurence here doesn't fail to describe much of the happenings in this book in the most blunt and crude manner possible, whether it's abortions, sexual affairs, the burying of dead babies...the list goes on and on. That all said, it teetered on the edge of being something really good, this book. I'm just tired of the style that modern lit seems trapped in - cold, blunt, crude and ultimately meaningless on most levels other than a one of basic survival. I know it sounds like I hated this work, and to be honest, I didn't. It is, as the stars indicate according to this particular system "OK". But would it ever be something I would read if I wasn't asked to by my course requirements? No. Is it half-decent? I guess, depending on your taste in literature. It is an exceedingly raw story, one in which the ugliness of all the characters is laid quite bare for the reader to see, and to some extent, I think this can be a good thing. The story does have a plot, unlike most modern lit works I have read, but I just can't seem to "get it". Just not my cup of tea; though honestly, when it comes to the abysmal world of most modern and post-modern literature, it's not so bad.