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A ship of fools. The title says it all. A ship full of petty people with petty prejudices and self-righteous arrogance that, we know in hindsight, led to World War II. This is a book of character studies, and not one of these misfits is sympathetic. I stayed with it until the end because I kept hoping the boat would sink. I also hoped for an epiphany from the author, something to give this pointless tale a point. I've read over 1,200 novels and I've rarely encountered so many unlikeable characters (other than in the novels of Jonathan Franzen). Now I need some Prozac.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Grace Conlin does a terrific job of narrating the story. The novel itself is actually more a series of short stories more than a coherent novel. But the characters are memorable and many parts of it are engaging. The themes of pre-WW II German culture and anti-Semitism are explored well. Her insights about marriage and relationships are spot on. Definitely engaging even if it doesn't have a compelling overall narrative.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful