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The first three quarters of this book were a great read. I loved the characters, the setting, the prose and the storyline. The writing is sharp and witty. The reader's performance was one of the best I've ever heard and I found myself laughing out loud frequently. But the book takes a sharp turn about 3/4s of the way in and after that, I lost interest. I got the impression that the author was looking at his watch and trying to figure out how he could make the story end on a much grander note than the book's more natural trajectory.
English majors can write long papers on the symbolism and hidden meanings in this book. I just feel frustrated by the story's collapse.
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One of the book reviews I saw on this book characterized it as an anti-novel. At first I didn't really know what that means. But that was made clear soon enough… in this case it is a novel without a plot.
Now, books without a plot is not necessary a bad things. Many books follow this path quite successfully. What this book lacks in plot is more than made up by the writing itself. The writing, at times, is actually quite beautiful.
But my biggest problem with this book is the narration. The narrator is so lethergic is the narration that I had trouble staying awake while listening to it. He just drone on and on. With no plot to grab one's attention, his droning makes for a lethal combination.
Granted, the author has no control over the narration. So if we had a more engaging reader, this would be a 3-4 star book. Alas.. a perfectly good anti-novel ruined by the narration :-(