Top critical review
Autograph Man - stretching credulity to breaking point.
on 28 September 2013
I enjoyed this book.... but it's hard work. I know it's fiction but to really empathise with characters I need to feel they could really exist. Brian Duchamp - yes: nice sketch of a gross but likeable trader. But Alex-Li Tandem? I don't think so. And as for a "laugh-out-loud" read... well, I don't think so either (altho' I accept humour is personal). Only time I laughed out loud was over the gag re the inflatable headmistress (had me chuckling for ages, actually!!) but I assume that was just a gag the author has recycled. The end seems messy and unresolved - what did Alex do about Kitty? Did he get back with his girlfriend (altho' he didn't deserve her)? I suppose it shows I was I was sufficiently emotionally involved to even care but I rather felt cheated. Maybe Zadie didn't know what to do with these strands either. I found all the Jewish life, religion, language and ceremonies baffling. Full marks to author for researching it all but it just confused me without enlightening or entertaining me.
Have also read White Teeth and On Beauty. If you want to try this author I'd recommend White Teeth.