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4.0 out of 5 stars Next, please, 29 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Next: A Novel (Paperback)
Kevin Quinn is flying from Ann Arbor to Austin, Texas for a job interview with a view to moving there. Thing is he hasn't told his live in lover where he's going, brought his mobile phone or a change of clothes & is intent on following the female passenger who sat next to him on the plane around a city that he doesn't know while waiting for the interview to begin. From this set of circumstances James Hynes sends Quinn on a rollercoaster ride of emotions - looking back on failed romances & old sexual relationships, recurring obsessions & meditations on what it's like to grow into your fifties unmoored & adrift. It's all done with a fantastic sense of humour & reminded me of David Gates or John Updike at their best. Until the last fifty pages that is when the whole thing takes a new turn & spirals to a fantastic, heartbreaking finale.

Came across this as a recommendation on George Pelecanos' best of 2010 list & it lived up to the expectations set there. Brilliant
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book that took me with it, 31 May 2012
snipkin (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Next: A Novel (Paperback)
NO SPOILERS - The whole book is written in real time, like one long camera take. It totally drew me in to the protagonist's experiences during a few hours on a hot day in Austin, Texas. Although it could be said that not much happens (until the totally unexpected end where everything suddenly happens - but I do not want to reveal the ending) I could not stop reading this book. The events that befall Kevin Quinn as he passes a few hours before a job interview (for which he has arrived rather too early) seem random and without meaning. I expected/hoped something would happen, but nothing much did... The writing style is rather humorous adding to the enjoyment of reading about nothing much happening on a stroll around Austin. I was just hoping that what might happen was what Kevin Quinn was vaguely, often crazily, fantasizing might happen. I don't know why, but I love stories about a person wandering around a city. It turns out the author lives in Austin, Texas, so that explains how he writes about it so well although the book's protagonist, Kevin Quinn, is in fact a stranger there. After I had finished this book it stayed in my head very powerfully for some days.
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Next: A Novel
Next: A Novel by James, Ma Hynes (Paperback - 9 Mar. 2011)
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