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Oh dear. Why did I ever accept a recommendation from Richard Ford? I've found his last three novels increasingly banal, so why would I think the novel he loved most in the past year to be anything than a reflection of the way he writes himself? Everybody talks about what fine sentences James Salter writes. That should have been the tip off. When all they can say anything good about is the sentences, don't expect a story. This is a book about two guys, very boring middleclass guys, who live humdrum lives but go through an astonishing number of women. It is quite old fashionedly heterosexual and male-oriented. The women parade through so quickly you don't get to know much more than their hair colour and their degree of sex appeal (high in every case.) There is no end of tedious sex. It ends in the middle of nowhere. Get me out of here.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
The people portrayed here are well-educated and well-to-do. The protagonist is an editor who's able to travel abroad often. The book's primarily about his relationship with the opposite sex. Various subplots cover other characters and, frankly, things are hard to follow. Not only that, but, while well-drawn, I found none of the characters compelling. They were interesting, sure, but not interesting enough for me to find the 10 hours I spent with them rewarding. Salter, of course, writes beautiful sentences; alas, that's not enough if the characters and plot fail to engage.
I had to force myself to finish this.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful