Monday, October 14, 2013

Review: The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.
by Adelle Waldman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I feel like I should have liked this book more than I did. The writing was good. Some of it was excellent.
"It was one of those cheerful dusks. Puddles that pedestrians would have had to make long arcs around the day before had dried up and disappeared. Convivial laughter rose from sidewalk cafes and echoed through the streets, which, in the fading heat, seemed to unfurl at the edges and relax into evening." (p. 97)
The story is told from the point of view of Nate, a young Brooklyn writer who is trying to sort out his relationships with women and to a lesser extent with his friends. We spend the whole book inside Nate's head. At first this seemed fine but as the story went on the voice started to feel inauthentic. Is this really his innermost thoughts on what is happening to him? How could a person who has no more insight into his own feelings than that be a novelist? If the story had been in the third person I think it wouldn't have bothered me that Nate was so superficial, but if he is superficial in his own mind how can I (as the reader) be that interested in him?

I would read another book by Adelle Waldman, but this one didn't entirely work for me.

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