5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A cold, literary read
, 4 Feb. 2014
This review is from: All That Is (Hardcover)
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This is the first book by James Salter that I have read: I was drawn to it by the superlative reviews from authors I enjoy such as John Irving and Julie Myerson. He has been compared to Bellow, Roth, Updike all of whom I have read and admired. I was also intrigued by the fact that it was written when Salter was 87, and has been praised by several reviewers for being so sexy. Sadly it did nothing for me - in particular the frequent sex scenes are sometimes laughably bad - look out for the bakeries/ horses drinking/ lots of death analogies. It is macho stuff, is he a big Hemingway fan?
I can see that Salter writes some fine and clever prose when he is describing events, times and places but it is all so very cold and unemotional. His main character Bowman seems to pass through life with no feelings, simply recording x, y and z, he has no encumbrances. There is no real plotline as the book keeps drifting off into minor characters who appear then disappear, never to be mentioned again. In the end I lost patience and gave up. Too lofty, literary and lonely for me.
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