Been putting off this review because this book is too smart for me. Or, actually, all the characters and maybe the author want to be smarter than me. I am pretty smart! I just have different priorities than everyone in this book. I don’t know about Donna Tartt, it could go either way with her. I still haven’t decided if she secretly empathizes with all these assholes she birthed from her mind, or if she’s skewering people and ideas and places instead. Either, way, this was an extremely compelling read, which was good news after the failure that was my experience with Possession in the fall.
As the previous paragraph might suggest, I’m not really interested in analyzing this book for themes, for whatever reason. For me, it was just a good story about some shitty people doing shitty things. The way it was told pulled me in and even though it is literary fiction, a genre which I’m practically allergic to these days, and even though I didn’t like any of the characters, or sympathize with their likes or desires, it was enormously entertaining, atmospheric and suspenseful. And that’s with you knowing from page one that our narrator and his friend group killed someone. The how and the why are the meat here.
I think one of the reasons this book works so well is that even as I was reading this book and not liking anyone (but especially Bunny, oh my God, I would run away if he entered a room) I still understood why they did the things they did. It made sense, from a character perspective, and like the magic of all really good books, you’re able to temporarily slip yourself inside of their skin and truly understand a character’s actions, even if they would be wildly divergent from your own.
To sum up, a smart and entertaining dark read, but there is depth here if you like feel like plumbing it.