Top positive review
32 people found this helpful
Great! - if you know you like Anne Tyler's work.
on 16 June 2001
The first Anne Tyler book I read was Ladder of Years and I was immediately won over by Anne Tyler's style of writing. Since then I have been working my way through all her books and this was one of the last I read. Although it is not one of my favourites (those would have to be Ladder of Years, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and Searching for Caleb) I would still be hard pushed to say a bad word about Anne Tyler. Often very little happens in her books but the characterisation is so fantastic and utterly absobing that it doesn't seem to matter.
A Slipping-down Life is about a girl called Evie Decker who is one of life's misfits. She is unattractive, overweight and has very few friends. She becomes obsessed with a local small time rock star called Betram "Drumstrings" Casey. Unlike most hero worship scenarios where the dreamed of life with the star never happens, a relationship does develop between Evie and Drum. As one might expect it isn't happily ever after. The book is an interesting commentary on idolising people, and how some people in life are strong charactes and some are weak. You begin this book thinking you know who are the strong people and who are the weak but your perceptions are manipulated and turned on their head. It doesn't work out as you may think!
The characters in this book are well developed and absorbing. One of Anne Tyler's abilities as a writer is her skill in portraying a character so clearly with so few words. Her characters are completely believeable and their motivations and actions totally realistic.
I love books by authors who are strong on characterisation. As well as Anne Tyler I love the work of John Irving for this reason. If you want a lot of fast, action-packed storylines then this book is probably not for you. If you have never read Anne Tyler I would probably recommend another book of hers to begin with. If you have read Anne Tyler and like her work then I have no hesitation in recommending this book, you will like it!