I have a friend who dislikes mushrooms and tries them again annually just to see if her taste buds have changed. I find her dislike intriguing in part because I love mushrooms and often wonder if the dissonance is due to qualia and my “mushroom” tastes different to her “mushroom” or if what I taste is identical to what she does and she doesn’t enjoy the flavor I love. My feelings about olives is similar if less intense; I don’t hate olives, but I would rather not have them on something if it’s an option. Molly likes olives, and if I were to describe the flavor of mushrooms and the flavor of olives, I suppose it would be similar – earthy, umami, complimentary to salt – but I just don’t like them even if I enjoy something remarkably similar.
This book is an olive to me.
I didn’t hate it. I didn’t much care for it, in part because I have very little patience for people who leave their feelings unexpressed for ages and then have to deal with the fallout. The characters are all deeply flawed and our protagonist is outright abrasive, so it was hard to spend two hundred odd pages with her, even if she is only tangentially in some of the 13 short stories that make up the book.
I love this kind of book – where unrelated short stories all revolve around a character, however tangentially – and obviously others very much liked it. It won a pulitzer, it had an HBO miniseries based on it… this is not a bad book.
It’s just not for me. I’ll pass on the olives, but I’ll take your extra mushrooms.