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Always Worth Reading
on 18 October 2016
This book is considered rightly a 'problem novel', not because it is hard to read, in fact it is deceptively easy, but because we can never be sure of the veracity of the narrator. The basics of the plot are two couples, one English and one American; these four people seem to meet up for about a month each year. We come to see though that two of the persons are having an affair. This is supposedly written after the events but we can never be sure of what the narrator really knew beforehand, what he was told, and what he conjectured. At turns you feel sorry for this narrator and want to pat him on the back and offer your sympathies, at other times you want to wring his neck and tell him what a complete fool he is. As the story unfolds you are never really sure whether he is extremely naive or just doesn't care about his wife.
By also continually altering the time he is talking about you are also left to wonder what he really knew beforehand. It is this style that ultimately gives this book its power, taking us on a trip that is tragic, but at the same time quite comic. Ultimately though this raises the question, what do we really know about anyone else? A truly great read this would be ideal for reading groups as there is so much here to discuss. If you love a good captivating read that you can lose yourself in and makes you question what you are reading, then you can't really go wrong with this.