I wouldn’t normally dare, feel obliged nor waste the effort to write a review of a book I’ve only read the first four chapters of. But in the case, an exception, mainly to do with the fact that I will not be starting the fifth chapter. Ever.
Having been recommended this piece by a well-read friend and having noted the accolades, I was rather expecting a literary treat – the subject matter seemed interesting. I mean, who isn’t interested in reading about massacre, especially the oddball massacres that occur all to regularly at American schools.
Unfortunately the writing style of the book makes it unbelievably unreadable for the punter who is after a page-turner, an edge of the seat gun-fest and/or just a bit of light entertainment on the tube journey to and from work.
There is metaphor upon metaphor upon metaphor. So deeply nested are they that by the time you’ve reached the last one in the chain, you’ve forgotten what on earth was being described in the first place.
Underneath all of these over-descriptive descriptions of the descriptions of the descriptions, etc. (you probably get my drift by now) there is apparently a storyline.
But so well hidden is it that the effort required to read this book is not worth putting in to try and decipher what’s actually physically happening.
The main character is almost immediately painted as an unattractive, mop-haired, moody adolescent and the story is told in the first person, therefore placing the reader in the position of imagining themselves as the character in the book. Now I don’t know about you but I for one am ecstatic to have left my mop-haired adolescent days behind me (notice the omission of the other word) so I’m not keen on my imagination being steered in that direction, thank you very much DBC.
I guess all the rave reviews and Booker Prizes are for the over-laden (therefore incredibly eloquent and talented) writing style but sorry, this book just doesn’t do it for me. I need something more interesting and less labour intensive to read. Pass me The Sun…