I’m going to be honest up-front and say that this is a DNF review. I made it approximately a tenth of the way through the book before I gave up on it. Based on the description provided, this sounded like an interesting read, so I requested it through one of my goodreads group (to which the author had donated a copy of members to review).
However, upon starting to read, I was immediately confused as to what was going on. There was no semblance of chapters, but rather vignettes of different experiences. I still can’t figure out how the numbering for these went, it started at 3, went to 1, then jumped to 4 and back to 1…so I was wondering if there was something funky with my copy. Looking at some of the reviews on amazon they talk about how it is a stream of consciousness work, but if that is the case, then it is an extremely fractured stream – in one vignette, the two main characters Michael and Bridgette are driving to Austin, then they are in Austin, and then they are back on the road. There is swapping of points of view from Michael to Bridget without any indication (normally the only sign of that is mentioning the other person’s name).
When I started to look closer and try to re-read a couple of the scenes to understand, it seemed as though the author expected the reader to see other places. For example, in one part he talks about his grandfather and how he used to visit him in college. He ends the scene with the statement that he hasn’t seen his grandfather in a while, but then says that “I can tell he’s freshly barbered, straight razor and all, doing the best he can” – while I assume this means, he is projecting the imagine of what he remembers his grandfather to be, it just doesn’t ring true – if his grandfather was that influential – why hasn’t he seen him recently, are they staying in touch – it just seems very disjoined.
One of my pet peeve’s when it comes to books is when stuff is said in 20 words what could be said in 5 or 10, and in the few sections that I read, this did seem to be an issue. Maybe it is because as part of my job we focus on writing for maximum utility, but the verbose-ness of the language used was distracting and maybe played into why I was having difficulties reading it.