I’ve often irritated my friends unintentionally by poking at them about things they like that I don’t. It’s often mistaken for an attempt to persuade them the things they like aren’t great, when in reality the reverse is true; I want to see the thing I’m missing in the work, to be persuaded of its greatness. If I can just talk it out enough, maybe I’ll see more “Hush” in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and less “Beer Bad;” if we have a long enough discussion there’s a chance the veil will be lifted and I’ll find Tom Hardy attractive instead of thinking he just looks like people. (I seriously cannot picture that man’s face despite seeing multiple movies he’s been in). I assume the error is mine.
Somebody explain this book’s critical adoration to me. I don’t get it.
Mind, I didn’t hate it. Much like Buffy and Tom Hardy, I can understand the appeal, and found things to like and even parts to love, but on the whole, I just didn’t get it. It was a perfectly serviceable tale of a Eastern European doctor and her relationship with her grandfather, and the grandfather’s stories of his youth and the war, tinged with magical realism. But, the fact that that’s pretty much all I have to say after 300 odd pages of reading – a synopsis of the plot – is telling. I just didn’t connect with a book that pretty much every literary luminary loved. I even read the reader’s guide at the back in hopes that the interview with Jennifer Egan might shed light on what I missed.
So, sincerely, if anyone loved this book, I would like to know what I’m missing.