I’m about 8 books and 2 weeks behind on writing posts. I keep saying it: but it’s much easier to just keep reading, rather than taking the time to reflect.
If you don’t like books with unreliable narrators and/or ambiguous endings, this book is definitely not for you.
And it wasn’t just the end that was ambiguous, everything (everything!) all along the way was off kilter, and just want I thought I had a clue, something else weird would happen.
Disturbing and strange — I still haven’t decided if I’m a fan of this one or not. The language was beautiful in many places –I highlighted a section that described a car catching on fire as a passage that particularly struck me:
“The Wolseley was parked in the driveway and its blue bulk was swollen with molten flames, which brightened my father’s pale face. I stopped on the lawn, shielding my eyes, and as the fire banked and swept I glimpsed the warped seat, the dashboard consumed, the bonnet buckled into a scream. The air was dense with toxic stink, and blankets of black smoke surfed up to the sky. Sparks arched across the lawn and fell glowing into the grass.”
An ugly thing to describe, but at the same time: made amazing and compelling by Hartnett’s word choices. I can see that car on fire, and I can’t really look away.
A lot of the time, though, the language went from wonderful to completely overblown and over the top. I didn’t highlight any of those passages, because I tended to skim when it got like that.
It’s been about 2 weeks since I read this one — it has lingered, as I tried to decide what I thought. What was real (or not…)? How much was fantasy, mental illness, wishful thinking, or reality and truth. I think this would be an excellent book to read with others, to have someone to argue about it with and to get their opinions. I suspect that you’d get different interpretations from every single reader.