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piiskoor

Another fine mess

Reader fan critic teacher reader fan.

Currently reading

McGlue
Ottessa Moshfegh
Knife Fight and Other Struggles
David Nickle
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
Andrew Solomon
The Good Lord Bird
James McBride
Ancillary Justice
Ann Leckie
Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More (New Edition)
Derek Bok
Dissident Gardens
Jonathan Lethem
Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s
Kim Newman
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
James Gleick
Complete Novels
Dashiell Hammett, Steven Marcus
Before I Go To Sleep - S.J.Watson Mixed bag.

The narrator's dread and dislocation--waking every day with all recent history erased--was compelling. There's a better book buried here, one that zeroes in on Christine and the implications of such cycles of loss. And Watson is quite effective at capturing his protagonist as more than a clinical puzzle. While the book rushed forward with the breathlessness of the externalized mystery, what compelled me most was the hauntedness of her everyday awakening into the uncanny.

But that headlong rush to also be Rebecca . . . my initial investment in the big What Happened? was being subsumed by a far more satisfying exploration of What Happens every day. The novel, however, had other plans, and the Puzzle took over. The character was subsumed in a(n ultimately ludicrous) plot which kept me reading but reduced my interest to mere curiosity before a final shift, at the Big Reveal, into irritation. I'm not some dull Plausible, but the McGuffin here rushes to center stage and pushes poor Christine around, making the whole production seem increasingly less consequential, even silly.