This is a book that will definitely try your patience. Had I not previously read "All the Light We Cannot See", and been totally sold on Anthony Doerr I might well have given up on this one after about 240 pages. Winkler the protagonist is delusional, neurotic, ineffectual, self-destructive. He drifts into an affair with a married woman, flees in panic when his family is threatened by a flood, buys a used car and travels all around the USA without bothering about a driver's license or insurance, comes perilously close to killing himself at least three times. His life is a dreary odyssey in which he displays neither the craftiness of Odysseus nor the courage of Telemachus. He's a klutz. So why do I give such a tale of woe 4 stars? I suppose because of the superb writing that somehow kept me from putting it down. And in the end, this is a story about redemption, about forgiveness, about being connected to those we love despite everything: lost years, broken promises, foolish mistakes. Having presented us with such a deeply flawed protagonist, Doerr makes up for it by giving us several superb secondary characters -- Naaliyah, Christopher, Felix are all wonderfully drawn and each in their own way are part of Winkler's salvation.
I really wanted to like this novel, not only for it's many accolades but because my daughter is reading " All The Light We Cannot See " and loves it. But this was a frustrating exercise for me and I finally put it down half way through. The author writes some beautiful sentences and descriptions , no doubt, and there were parts that I truly enjoyed . However, the main character was unfathomable to me ,that had nothing to do with his premonitions . The book even made the Caribbean appear a depressing place to be .
I love this novel from the first page to the last. The book may tell how imperfect we humans are with obsessions, hesitations, and sometimes due to clairvoyance. This book is all about love or the author wants to tell nothing but grace and forgiveness. The writing is microscopic and beautiful.
Wanted to find out what happens but the journey is painful and tedious for both the reader and the protagonist.
I pushed through to the end.
In agreement with Publisher's Weekly
"frustratingly opaque protagonist. There are gorgeous moments here, but a stifling lack of story"
Can Doerr produce another "All the Light"? The bar may be too high now.
This is another beautifully written book by Doerr. He crafts his characters so clearly that you feel you know them and can understand what motivates them to do what they do. The story is full of interesting people even though you may not like all of them. Winkler`s obsession with snow and individual snowflakes borders on being boring (to the reader) at times but it shapes his character.
I love his writing style. Read his short stories Memory Wall...all
I didn't care for the writing style or the boring main character. Gave up after 30 pages. I'm sure others will love it, but it just didn't appeal to me.
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