Friday, September 12, 2008

'G' by John Berger - Jackie's Review

‘G’ is about the life of a privileged family, living in Italy, at the turn of the century.

The majority of the book was the fairly boring story of ‘G’. I felt very little empathy for his character, and got more disinterested in his life as the book went on.

Very early into the book a few graphic sex scenes are thrown in. I say thrown, as there seems to be no real reason for their presence. They do not add anything to the story line, and seem only to be there to shock the reader. I was not shocked, but this along with the childish drawing of penises make parts of this book feel as though they are written by a teenage boy.

There are a few more sex scenes later on in the book, which at least seem to be part of the story, but again brought the book down to a much lower level. It then deteriorated into inane ramblings by the author, about the quality of sexual experiences.

There were a few interesting historical pieces in the book, but it wasn’t worth having to read the rest of the book, just for these few, short paragraphs.

Overall, the book felt very disjointed. The characters were shallow, and I would only recommend this book to teenage boys in need of a bit of sexual education!

1 ½ stars out of 5.


  1. Oh dear ... sounds dire. I have to say, of all the Booker winners this is one that I have been avoiding. The basic "book jacket" descriptions I've read just have not appealed to me. And your review certainly reinforces my feelings! This is one I'll read -- or maybe just read part of -- simply for a sense of "completeness". But there's no rush ...

  2. Yes, it might have been 'ahead of it's time' back in the 70s, but now it just seems childish.

    I'm doing the oppsite to you, and reading the ones that look dodgy to start with, that way I'll be motivated by the interesting ones to finish!


  3. This one has been on my TBR shelf for a long time. I have to say that your review actually makes me less reluctant to read it than I have been. Long, disjointed, and boring I can slog through.

    But for some reason, I had it in my head that this was some kind of experimental novel along the lines of William Gaddis, or maybe even sci-fi. Like I said, I have NO IDEA where this notion came from. SO I am actually relieved to find out it is just dull and out of date. :)

  4. I read 130 pages or so and considered myself complete with it. The style and world view are so dated, I just got nothing out of it. Extremely slow moving; I started to wonder if any of the early winners would be worth reading.