Thursday, December 30, 2010

J.G.'s Review - G.

Add me to the list of people who really didn't get this novel. I've read enough about it to understand that it's a "novel of ideas," whatever that means, and I know other people have found it "luminous" and "interesting" and "inventive"--all of which are rather non-specific compliments that fail to explain exactly what makes it so good.

But, alas, it's not for me. Although the book purports to tell the story of the life of G., a Don Juan pursuing his seductive arts against the backdrop of World War I and early 20th Century European events, for me the shifting subjects and digressions were so many screens through which it was difficult to view the action.

Of course, a novel doesn't have to be plot-driven to succeed. It's just that the novel's traditional coherencies make the experience of reading so much better for me. I'm sure Berger was deliberately flaunting these conventions, and good for him that he won a prize while doing so.

For more about this book, see my review at Hotchpot Cafe.

1 comment:

  1. I was pretty sure I'd hate this book before I even started, so it didn't take much to convince me to drop it. I probably should have given it a better chance ... but your review reassures me :)