I like this bit: "Talk was hopeless. We smiled apologetically, while our words went spilling like platefuls of barbecue sauce onto a white dress in a detergent ad, comical slow-motion disaster."
This book is entertaining. I am entertained.
But, seriously, dialogue tags. My kingdom for some dialogue tags. Just the occasional "Alice said" so I know who's speaking, especially if there are more than two people in the scene, e.g., the barbershop in Chapter 6.
Like Alice, I may be in love with Lack, in love with nothing.
I had hoped for something a bit whimsical. Instead I got heartbreak. But isn't that the way of things?
A couple more bits I like:
"My grand statement. If only I could reel it back in, swallow it, dissolve it in the acids of my stomach."
"I missed her terribly. I yearned, heart big and tender as a ripe eggplant. At the same time I played at indifference, my heart squeezed small and hard as an uncooked chestnut."
The writing isn't elegant, but it's speaking to me.
I'm wanting Philip to choose Cynthia, choose what could be the healthy relationship. But I predict that he won't. He'll choose Alice because Alice is his true love, and it ain't true love if it ain't dysfunctional, right? But will Alice eventually return to him? Can she?
Actually, my true prediction is that Philip will jump into Lack and Lack will accept him the way Lack never accepted Alice. I guess I'll have to wait and see what unfolds in the next 100 pages.
Another bit I liked, from dialogue spoken by Cynthia: "But while we're on the subject I do want to say I think you're wasting your time pining after a woman who stopped giving you what you need months ago. And you might be ignoring a very interesting alternative."
But that's what people do
, isn't it. We pine. We yearn. We long. We're never happy with what's in front of us, always grasping for more, for that thing or that person that eludes us. Maybe not everyone, but a good portion of us. Is this something we're conditioned to do? Can we ever break free of this wanting
and be happy with what's within our reach? Would we be better off if we could? Perhaps we'd just be more dull if we could be content with what we have, but I think there's a fine line between the kind of wanting that drives us to excel and the kind that drives us to madness. The trick is not slipping into the latter.
Oh! I was right about Philip going into Lack. But also so very wrong.
Wow. More Lethem, please.