Tedious, dreary, needlessly convoluted and boring beyond belief, it was all I could do to wade through this portrait of the artist as a young bore. Will’s interior monologue is relentlessly centered on himself and he appears to be suffering some kind of mental deficiency. You’re not sure if it’s a form of Asperger’s or amnesia. Either way, it makes him a total dullard.
The whole novel reads like one long strange interlude. Every word or sentence from someone else sets off a blizzard of inner commentary for Will. Of course, no one else can see or hear what’s going on inside his mind so that makes him incredibly opaque to everybody.
There’s a rash of murder/suicides for which Will may or may not be responsible (even he isn’t quite sure). The mystery feels somehow tacked on to the story, a futile effort to make Will seem interesting when he is patently not.
The only thing that can be said to be vaguely titillating is the girl Angela. Surprisingly, she’s not made into a love interest for Will. For a while, it seems like she’s vaguely interested in him because she suspects that he’s incapable of emotional attachment. Being that she’s on the fast track to an athletic career and is determined to let nothing, not even a man, stand in her way, that’s a very smart attitude on her part.
But in the end not even the addition of a smart cookie like Angela is enough to redeem this meandering tale of adult ineffectuality and teenage ennui.
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