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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Requiring Perseverance., 24 May 2013
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This review is from: Flight Behaviour (Kindle Edition)
I have read every novel and all the anthologies of shorter work by Barbara Kingsolver but I couldn't get into this one.
There are the usual patches of vivid description and good insight into character and motivation. There are long extended metaphors of natural processes and evolutionary forces with their unforeseen consequences that are apt and well chosen; but all these don't add up to a great book.
The tale digressed and the structure became slack, making me reluctant to return to the tale. I could understand most of the folksy American vernacular but the mangled slangy speech and overuse of abbreviations like PBJ ( presumably peanut butter jelly) was tedious. The author has tried with her usual generous spirit to render the lives of disadvantaged people sympathetically. There is a palpable sense of her desperation in the face of an ignorant society slowly sawing itself off from its life support systems. She makes strong points concerning the dumbing down of the media and its misrepresentation of science. Interestingly, she is quite generous to the church,recognising its place as a bastion of a rural community without adequate social services.
She is amusing about the fatuous belief systems of the religious community while respecting the kindness and altruism of the pastor.
I'm sorry that the register of much of the language grated on my ear . Banal lives accurately rendered are banal.
I was pleased to finish this book. I persevered because I respect the author. I can't fully define why I wasn't more engaged. Perhaps it is because the author has an agenda that her characters must serve and it impairs their autonomy.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Oct 2013 12:52:07 GMT
andrew hogg says:
I think you're missing something: her treatment of the "banal lives" is actually quite sympathetic, to my mind" and certainly made me see the climate deniers in a new light. Look at the way she treats the scientists, keen young locals and Leighton Akins, the green proselyte par excellence; she is equally questioning of some of their assumed superiority and glibness. And secondly, are their lives really "banal"? That's a value judgment that you're making, not the author, I'd say.

Posted on 20 Feb 2014 22:54:00 GMT
Rowan says:
Half way through and ready to give up on an author I really like. Maybe I'll carry on......
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