8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Sportswriter (Paperback)
Takes place over a weekend with flashbacks but reading it felt like much longer. It's occasionally interesting and the writer clearly has a gift for prose but so little happens to merit its 367 pages.
It's not helped by the constant clarification of the narrator's philosophies. There's no irony or ambiguity. After implying something, it is fully explained which is both patronising and laborious to read. I found myself constantly exclaiming, "Yes, I got it the first time!" The only thing that isn't so clear-cut is the general theme of the novel - man is divorced soon after the death of his child, man could have been a novelist based and it's around this premise it's that someone has literally written down every single thought they had over the course of a weekend. There is a downbeat ending which could be seen to emphasise the hopelessness of the protagonist but I felt it was more like someone wallowing in self-pity.
Furthermore, it's not helped by a morose and unsympathetic protagonist who seems detached from everything. There is a place for such characters in fiction but in this instance it did not make for an enjoyable read. Without being flippant, a few jokes or wry observations wouldn't have gone amiss.
Finally, I found much of dialogue very irritating - characters constantly address each other by name such as "That's a good point, Frank" beyond the first exchange of a conversation. That's to say that people generally address each other by name when greeting or for emphasis but not at the end of EVERY sentence.
If you're approaching middle age and want to descend further into a moribund, self-pitying and uncaring mire this might just be the book for you.