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LiterarySara

Literary Sara

What I've been reading on the trolley. 

Currently reading

Salt Fish Girl: A Novel
Larissa Lai
A Place of Greater Safety
Hilary Mantel
Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career
Elizabeth Hyde Stevens
Moby Dick: or, the White Whale
Herman Melville

Q: A (Timeless) Love Story

Q: A Novel - Evan Mandery About halfway through now. I'm not sure I can finish. It's not a one-star book--which is to say that the writing is not so bad it makes my eyes bleed--but the characters are neither likable nor complex and I can't bring myself to care what happens to them. In fact, I hope they break up! Not just because the narrator is self-satisfied and persuaded of his own liberal, intellectual superiority (which he performs mainly through consuming the right kinds of products and comparing himself to other people). Not just because the narrator's love interest is a straight-up MPDG who serves no purpose in the text but to nurture things with her magical love and quirkiness. Not just because the only evidences we see of their great love are their carefully choreographed first dates and the fact that everyone else comments on how in love they are. But because the conflict that threatens to break them apart appears to have been developed after about two seconds' thought from the author, so he can't be very invested in their survival either.The backboard tells you up front that the narrator is visited by his future self, who tells him not to marry Q, the beloved. It doesn't tell you that the reason--at least, the only reason introduced so far--is that they will have a child that dies from a fatal, incurable disease, and it wrecks them. Sad, right? But why, then, do they have to break up? Why do they not, say, decide not to have children? Or adopt? I'm not saying those are easy choices either. In fact, making those choices would create enough conflict and interest for a whole different book. But the narrator doesn't even consider them; he's just like "welp, that's too sad, guess I have to break it off with the love of my life." As though their love is not its own entity apart from, even if connected to, their eventual biological children.I can imagine dozens of other more logicial and consistent possibilities. For example: given how terrible the narrator is, I was really hoping that the conflict that drove them apart would be how terrible he is. Seriously, at the moment I set the book down (possibly for good), he's assisting his partner in a protest for the protection of her job and cherished cause. The narrator is nonstop snark, condescension, and mockery of her colleagues in this venture. He doesn't seem to notice any conflict between his support of his partner and her cause, and his utter contempt for the actualities of it.Maybe this book gets better, but if it hasn't picked up this far in, it's too late.