Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
on 31 July 2013
Ever since I first read "We need to talk about Kevin" I knew I had to read all of Shriver's books, and were better to start than with the beginning of her literary career. And boy, what a debut. All the necessary elements are there: great characters, a plot with a quirky structure, and a style that is not only challenging and intelligent, but also poetic and wistful.
The story is divided into three levels so to speak: one anthropologist's wild adventure in Africa, one account of a troubled boy's past, and the subsequent union of the two. Gray, the fierce and slightly feared aging beauty; and Ralph, the ravishing, manipulating, young Zeus. A complicated yet passionate relationship of two sides of the same coin.
Narrated by Errol, Gray's best friend, there is definitely a "Gatsbyanesque" feel to it. A simple friend stands on the side lines and tells us about an exotic, strange, persona who is in love with someone they really shouldn't be. Except in this case, Errol despises Ralph utterly.
All the characters are real, alive, complicated. So different from each over, so the same. Exactly like real life.
The prose, the sentences are incredibly structured and involved, they become beautiful in there complexity.
And finally, an added bonus to the package, a peep into the world of anthropology. Told by way of a study of human conduct, of our behavior, our actions when faced with complicated matters, by means of this book, which if you cannot tell by know, I loved.