Dear Lionel Shriver;
That sort of hurt my head a bit, Lionel. It started out interesting and zippy – full of potential. But then there was some really, really, really horrible writing:
“Such a piercing whistle sang through window cracks that Edgar’s headache was immediate. As the hump-fendered sedan galumphed down the road, it swayed in and out of lane, though the driver wrestled manfully with the wheel. Now and again a thud sounded against the doors as if a linebacker had assaulted the cab with a running tackle.”
Here are the book’s pros:
1. You are great at writing the opposite sex. It was believable and seamless.
2. You come up with very interesting ideas.
3. Your sense of the absurd is spot-on.
4. You’re funny.
5. You are Lionel f*cking Shriver!
Here are the cons:
1. You completed this manuscript in 1998 and the version published this month is nearly exactly the same as the original manuscript. It felt very dated and clunky and could have been improved monumentally.
2. It became predictable.
3. Moments of the novel were painful to read. Like, really amateur stuff. To the point that, less than 80 pages from the end, I debated chucking the whole thing.
4. Given the strength of We Need to Talk About Kevin and The Post-Birthday World, this really seemed like a dirtshow dressed up with pearls and, finger’s crossed, nobody notices otherwise.
5. YOU ARE LIONEL F*CKING SHRIVER!
It hurts my heart to give this only one-star.
I do love you, Lionel. But, sometimes, tough-love is needed. You can do way, way, way better!! I know it. (And I suspect you do too.)