Monday, 30 November 2015

All the Light We Cannot See

   It took the author ten years to write this book and it may take ten years for me to completely organize it in my head.  I believe it should have a warning: 
"Not for left-brain readers". 

   Last night, I read this quote: "Good order is the foundation of all things" (Edmund Burke 1729-1797, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher).

   This book has no order, at least not one that I can find.  It begins in 1944 and ends in 2014, but here are the section titles: Aug. 7, 1944; 1934; Aug. 8, 1944; June, 1940, August 8, 1944; January, 1941; August 8, 1944; August, 1942; August 9, 1944; May, 1944; August 12, 1944; 1945; 1975; 2014.

   Who does that make sense to? Can right-brain people make sense of this?
   There definitely are people who are able to appreciate this book.  It won the Pulitzer Prize in 2015 as well as other prizes.
   I recognize that there are great characters and a fascinating plot, but without any order, I cannot appreciate anything in the book.  Frustration does not make for a good reading experience.

  The author has used two protagonists and the narrative flips back and forth.  The chapters are short- often only one page.

  Putting the story together is much like a puzzle and I love puzzles, so why not join those two pleasures?  Because puzzles are work and when I begin a puzzle, I am in 'work mode'- looking for a challenge.  However, when I read, I relax and  expect that the author has done the work  and I just have to jump in and ride along.
  No pleasure here- only frustration.

   I have not given details of the plot or characters, but my fellow blogger does a good job of that.  You can read Sue's blog here.

   This book was the focus of a recent book club and I asked if the others were comfortable with the time changes.  Of the 20 people attending, 9 were positive about the non-linnear method of storytelling.  We also learned that it can be called a "disruptive" narrative.  
  While discussing the book, I was reminded of the great themes and wonderful characters and it made me more annoyed that the book was not presented in a fashion that could be enjoyed by all.                

No comments:

Post a Comment