by David Rakoff

Reviewer Rating:


This book started out very strong. The structure and premise are impressive, and it’s amazing how Rakoff manages to sketch out all these characters so completely within the constraints of form. Of course, some sections were certainly more smoothly done than others. My favorite segments were Margaret’s and Nathan’s--they were the most engaging and sympathetic characters, and the form in these didn’t fall into a contrived tone. It was almost incantatory to read these out loud and get lost in the rhythm Rakoff creates. Even though I remained impressed by the wordplay throughout, I somewhat lost interest in the characters about halfway through. Some pieces dragged a little and focused too much on characters that didn’t carry as much of the heart of the work. Still, the concept was great and the interrelated stories were well done. The artistic depictions of each of the characters also added to the pieces--they were intense and unusual and fit perfectly with the feeling of the book as a whole. Since the book is fairly short and minimalistic, it was a good one to read as an ebook.

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