Monday, December 18, 2006

Book 4: Utterly Monkey

So, a two-book day is supposed to be a celebration of the possibility of completing over 20 books over the course of a vacation. As I approached Utterly Monkey this afternoon, then, it was with the veil of optimism and a strong recommendation by a friend.

And...I was disappointed. After it was over, I remembered the characters, but wondered why in the hell they were doing what they were doing. Our lead, a young lawyer in London, makes some odd and unsupported choices that made the end of the novel rather defeating, which was in direct opposition to the action. Our tale is told in just a few days, and that's what it feels like. Yes, we are meeting people in what could be the most important moments in their lives, but I was left wanting more.

I hate it when I look at the dustjacket afterward, read the description, and think, "Huh? What book are they writing about?" Described as "a beautifully intricate dissection of the corporate world, and a hilarious depiction of modern male friendships" I found it to be...well, neither. It felt like half of a Mike Newell movie, if that makes sense.

The title comes from a dirty tale that one of our characters tells about another at a party. I can't recommend this one, much as I liked some of the elements. Nick Laird can write, that's for sure, but I wasn't impressed with the breadth of this and I was left lost by some of the immediacy of the choices.


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