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le 26 juin 2014
OH MY GOD IT'S SO BAD
Spare yourselves; do not buy this book. It was almost physically painful to finish. If this is the yardstick by which we measure books these days, I'll just lock myself into past centuries and NEVER COME OUT. What on earth caused this book to receive such acclaim???
So, just to get it out of the way, the construction kind of stands, although I'd have to think about even that. It's a little grotesquely baroque, with everyone seemingly having had a hand in the murder that 'fateful day', but ok for now.
But the rest.... In no particular order, and with plenty of spoilers, probably - it's not as if I care
- writers are NOT interesting main characters, and this one in particular takes the cherry; self-absorbed, vain, narcissistic, with every suddenly sycophantic character telling him how wonderful, talented, smart, 'Magnificent' (sic!!!) he is - and that goes for the OTHER writer in the book, Harry Québert, whose 15-year old lover seemed to have been put on this earth only to fawn over, praise and massage his ego. The main character 'wants to be a writer more than anything else in the world' and there is much inane talk/Hallmark life lessons about writing.... Ok, but writing what??? What was his 'fabulous first book' all about anyway?? He reminds me of kids who want to be rock star for the fame and never think for a second about the music - It's all about the packaging with Marcus Goldman - oh and let's not forget the crowds of New Yorkers who mob him with questions - actors, maybe, even though New Yorkers are WAY TOO COOL to crowd celebrities thank you very much, but WRITERS?? How many would you even recognize??? Also, within the very first chapter, we learn he's all about his Italian shoes, expensive NY apartment and trophy girlfriend, while being a self-aggrandizing whiny lying cheating ass***e - and there's a rule at the end of the book about hooking readers in the first chapter - oh well.
So a writer writing about a writer writing about a writer... God knows I love books but even I found this a bit indigestible.
- laughable secondary characters; the Jewish mother skit, the 'frustrated but deep', loud, manipulative bar owner - OH COME ON. It sounds like those Hollywood movies with 40 writers, one of which has to shoehorn comic relief in there, so you get a tap dancing number in a concentration camp. The Republican lawyer who has a cash machine where his heart should be, the threatening, grandiose, immoral publisher - none of which is deep enough to understand TRU LUV.
- which brings me, inevitably to the 'love' (sic) story. Oh please. I'm writhing inside. While I very much accept that age difference is not an impediment to Luv, a 34-year old 'falling in luv' with a teenager because she's 'dancing in the rain' (sic) sounds like... Drumroll... INFATUATION, or LUST. Mister bigshot writer (which one? Does it matter?) should have a way with words, but seems utterly incapable of self-analysis, diagnostic, soul-searching etc. And from there we get the MOST INANE dialogues I have EVER read outside of Barbara Cartland books. Even 33 YEARS later, the dude wallows in self-pity and 'she's the only one I'd ever love' whines that would make me want to smash a baby into a wall. Why were you in Luv, exactly? 'Cause she made you sandwiches and 'took care of you'??? I kid you not, this is what their whole relationship is about, and - wait for it - they only hang out for THREE MONTHS. Also, the kid is (spoiler, but do you care at this point) orphaned and suffers from psychotic breaks - is there anything that screams 'victim' any louder to you? Ach, it reminds me of Lars von Trier movies.
So, ok, you may be attracted to someone 20 years your junior. But if that someone fits the description above and has massively crushed on you - well, I've got news buster; you're just exploiting someone's intense vulnerabilities and the fact that you throw the rest of your whole life away afterwards doesn't make your. Luv 'more sacred'. It just makes you a creep who is unable to deal with reality and leads you to befriend only one person for the rest of your life, another creep.
- when does the police. Ever. Lets. A civilian. Lead. An. Investigation???? Especially in the US of A???? You have got to be kidding me.
- oh the writing, oh the writing... I'll take an inch out of my sting because I read a translated version, but still - English AND French are both my maternal languages and as I was trying to go back and forth to imagine what the translator could have improved I was left in the dust. Oh, the maudlin, immature, 'poor-me' waterfalls in this book - oh what about the editing, the verbatim copies of previous pages - oh the psychological characterizations and depth that could fit in a thimble, oooh.
It was atrocious. I can't believe this even got published. Maybe because there are publisher characters in there? Maybe because Dicker held someone's mother for *cough* blackmail? I don't get it. Read anything else.