05 June 2013

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves ~ Karen Joy Fowler

** OK **

Yep, I was beside myself!
Couldn't wait to finish!!

Borrrring ... dulllll ...teeeeedious ... and more than a little drawn out.

I really wanted to like it as I was excited to see a new release from Fowler.  I enjoyed The Jane Austin Book Club (although it is one of those rare books where I actually liked the movie better).

The whiny main character (the voice of this first-person narrative) got on my nerves; no wonder she had difficulty forming even fictional friendships.  I couldn't form one with her on paper.  The dysfunctional family is well done but a little overanalaysed (do we need so many pointers to make the reader realise why there are fractured relationships).  The animal lab testing is way too protracted (ok ... tell me again in case you haven't sledgehammered the message of its evils into my feeble brain).  The timeframe pointers with music and movies were clever, the setting at UC Davis was well done, the cast of supporting characters were charming and witty.

The book is based on a clever twist that for me made "before the reveal" feel restrained and the part "after the reveal" felt laboured and too long.