Monday, April 16, 2007

How to be Good (by Nick Hornby)

I picked this up for a little light plane reading; it was even lighter than I'd thought. I don't know if I really "get" Hornby. He feels somewhat slight, somewhat facile, like he's not reaching quite far enough for his material. He's aiming for complex plots and interesting characters, and in this one he's writing from the point of view of a woman, who I found to be a very sympathetic and convincing character. But there are a lot of unlikeable people in the book, and the way these people treat their children is so unsavory that it left a bad taste in my mouth. And I'm not even all knee-jerk "but what about the children?" I suppose it's intended to be "real" and "messy" and "authentic" and "what have you." It's just that after David Mitchell, it seems so... well, just not good enough.

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