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By Ben on 04-20-16
Story seems unfinished, Narration annoying
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Probably not. It had potential.The writing is good, but there isn't enough of a plot in the story. Characters come in and out, perhaps for just one scene without apparently contributing to the development of a story at all. Then the story just suddenly stops, and hasn't really gone anywhere. It's a bit like flicking through someone's diary and just reading the odd section here and there. Great description, but no real plot. This is also leads to boredom with the narrator, and his introspection. He also becomes less likeable as the book goes on, and as there are few others that we get to know in detail, this is irritating.
What did you like best about this story?
Some of the description was very evocative, and really captured the mood of the lonely traveler absorbing a new city.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
The style of narration was very odd. He inserts very frequent, rather long pauses, not only between but within sentences. It's so strangely slow, sort of like the weird style of some of the WWII radio propaganda. Eventually, when the protagonist is mostly conversing with non-native English speakers, this slow style with frequent pauses is more appropriate. Or perhaps I just got used to it.
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
Any additional comments?
I would have liked the author to have elaborated on many of the plot points that were introduced along the way. They had potential to lead somewhere, but were just dropped. The narrator's lack of curiosity about other people's lives means that conversations in which they begin to tell us something interesting are stopped too soon. I am not sure why it was published at this point. It seems cruel to the author not to allow him time to develop the book before it was wasted.
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