Thursday, November 25, 2010

So Much for That by Lionel Shriver

So Much for That was one of the books selected as a finalist in the fiction category for the National Book Award. They have already picked winners, but I'm still slogging my way through all the finalists.

I previously reviewed Parrot & Olivier in America by Peter Carey, since it was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize this year. So Much for That is only the second of the five novels that were finalists for this year's prize in fiction.

The majority of this book is probably the biggest downer I have ever read, and I've read some depressing books! Add that to a swirling prominent preachy thread of the problems with the health care system in the United States, and you have a recipe for a disaster. Most depressing books have me internally begging with the author to just get on with it and to give me my life back. Despite what most critics say, I almost always feel that way about McEwan (except with Solar), and the last Franzen made me feel that way too.

Except. Except, except, except. Shriver writes fearlessly and honestly, with excellently written characters, and this made it interesting and pleasing to read. I read the majority of it in one day.

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