Gave up after a hundred something pages. I tried, I really really tried to like this book. The premise is great, a book about a book and it's reclusive author. Add to that the story of a couple of dads and their sons. It's an ambitious book and a bit lengthy and that's what I think failed. David Gilbert can write well, but this really should have been a short story instead of a novel. A lot of the filler could have been axed and we'd be left with a better read. But that's just my 2 cents and clearly I'm in the minority.
This book was on every must read list I've seen since the summer. Everyone sang the book's praises comparing it to The Catcher in the Rye. Kinda sorta, but no not really Salinger-esque. Catcher was about half the length. And it did not have any postcards and letters with teeny weeny cursive writing on them. Cursive!!! Who in the hell uses cursive writing anymore?!
Maybe this is a guy's book. It's a valid theory since there are passages that gave me a yucky feeling. Passages with vivid descriptions of lady parts and how they taste sour like lemon drops. I did not need to read that. To me it was a confusing book about a bunch of self absorbed miserable people.
Just yesterday a librarian validated my dislike for this book after hearing me make a comment in front of a big display of "must reads". I probably said a little too loudly that I just don't see the appeal of a book where nothing really happens. A sweet librarian who was shelving nearby said she thought the same thing. That it's a whole lot of hype and little payout. And it's a challenge figuring out who was who. She even asked me who the narrator was supposed to be because even after finishing the book, she had no clue. So take that all you hipsters who only read books because they were on some must list!
*ARC provided from the publisher for an honest review