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OK. the protagonists were never the cool kids. but they shape the world successfully. true but not a topic that lifts me from my own profane existence.
All in all, this book detailed the minutia of a weekend in which a group of four relatively unlikable men (for reasons still unclear to me upon completion, were best friends in college) gather together for the first time in years to memorialize the (extremely unlikable) leader of their unlikable group.
Why so unlikable? Each character was painted as a weak-willed man... horrible to women, children, friends... save the narrator who was, albeit a proselytizer, good to people... though endlessly whipped by his friends, wife, and the dead man's ex-girlfriend (a recurrent character throughout whose presence I was eagerly anticipating but *spoiler alert* was never introduced). The character who was being memorialized was an intellectual bully of sorts, and Mr. Rush came across as an intellectual bully, himself, by casually alluding to obscure literature in order to prove points, go on chapter-long rants regarding "his characters'" views on personally irrelevant topics such as the political climate of 2003, 1970s cinema, etc., which just left me bored.
The one highlight is the co-narrator, the primary narrator's wife, who is expertly read by Emily Zeller. This character is obviously the brains behind the "brains" and as neurotic as they come, but a refreshing breath of fresh air from the suffocating unlikable-ness of the other characters.
In the end, I completed this book feeling unresolved, unnourished, and unimpressed.
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