Two loquacious men sit talking on a porch. Funny and profound, daft and cogent, they argue about love and sex, how best to live and die, the merits of Miles Davis and Cadillacs and Hollywood starlets of yore, underused cliches, false truisms, and the meaning of nihilism. Together, they shoot the shit - and then they go on shooting it long after it's dead.
Ribald and roaring, You & Me is an exuberant and very funny novel from a master of American fiction at the top of his game.
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I'm easily entertained, but this was impossible.
I was only 45 minutes into the 4+ hour book, but I just couldn't force myself to go on. The endlessly pointless -- and I mean ploddingly, painfully, frustratingly pointless -- musings of the two characters just goes on and on and on with no foreseeable destination. It's like listening to two old men discussing the merits of loafers vs. oxfords for hours on end.
Given it a story line, maybe? A plot? Conflict? Something? Maybe it's a lack of sophistication on my part, but having two characters ramble on in implausibly convoluted prose about the banality that surrounds them just isn't enough for me.
Strozier did the best he could with what he had to work with. Reading the phone book aloud for hours must be trying, so I have to give him points for effort.
I suppose disappointment and boredom would be the two reactions that immediately come to mind. Hitting the "stop" button would be the third.
I have read that "You & Me" has been compared to "Waiting for Godot." I have not read or seen that play, but I understand that it is hailed as a classic. I'm tempted to read it just to answer the question, "Is it just me?"
- Bob M.