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Because I am not a big fan of heavily plotted books, I looked forward to reading this essentially (and intentionally) plotless novel. My reaction to it went from admiration and astonishment to impatience, annoyance, and boredom. It reminded me a little of the film My Dinner With Andre in that everything is second and third hand. Characters we don't really care about tell stories about characters we never meet to a narrator who is more guide than developed person. At one point I drifted off for five minutes. I started to go back to replay and thought, "Why bother? The chapter will end and I'll never meet this character again."
The writing is spectacularly polished and elegant and precise, without being remotely precious. The insights into love and relationships and all manner of behavior are stunning and gorgeously phrased. But ultimately, I wearied of the stories within stories and the passing parade of talkative characters.
Cusk is obviously masterful and brilliant. She knows what she's doing, I just ended up not being interested in it. This might be better on the page, but I don't feel like investing the time.The authority of her prose makes me want to read another, more traditional, of her novels.
Kate Reading is a pro (her name alone!) and she handles the difficult material well. The book is set in Greece and she manages a range of accents without going overboard.
I wish I could give this 2.5 as an overall experience. I did, after all, finish it.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I struggled with the narrator's voice & inflections such that I couldn't relax and "get into the book". Might be worth reading rather than listening.
10 of 14 people found this review helpful