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Kalfus weaves a darkly hilarious tale of a dying marriage set post 9/11 against the backdrop of Ground Zero. I enjoyed the deliberate reading by James Boles, which sometimes added to the author's wry humor. The story of Marshall and Joyce's divorce strives for analogy, to depict a microcosm of the paranoid, intolerant, inept, and violent new order of the reawoken world. In many ways it succeeds, and in one scene in which a loosey-goosey house party morphs into an eerily creepy parody evocative of the terrible high jinks uncovered at Abu Graib Prison, it is jarringly affective. I recommend this audio book to any fans of say George Saunders, T. C. Boyle, et. al., who enjoy a hearty laugh at the expense of some serious material.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This is a stunning book. I purchased it on the blurb alone, knowing virtually nothing about the author. It is a very poignant, messy tale of a couple in disarray, in the middle of a great divorce, and a country that is about to be torn apart by terrorism. The manner in which the author melds these two themes and makes us care for his characters, who sometimes do despicable things, is nothing short of brilliant.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I like black comedy so this sounded up my street. And a great start - yep, looking good. But then it was just hours of utterly disjointed blathering - more like unconnected short stories than a novel. We get massive, forensic detail about a very short period then skip forward months as if they were all the same time span. Long sections about Joyce, barely registering Marshall then whack - flip round; all about Marshall and Joyce barely exists. Nothing came of the great potential of the talc / FBI; why bother to nick the hoopa if there was no consequence?; what a long and vulgar, and frankly depressing narrative of the party with Miss Naomi... I could go on but life's too short. But this book is not a good yarn, totally unstructured and... well, just not engaging. Next....