The opening chapter was brilliant, original, and engaging; very reminiscent of Dostoyevsky's _Notes from Underground_ but significantly new at the same time. The novel as a whole maintains a tacit Dostoyevskian tendency to constantly consider ambiguities of action and interpretation that seem honest throughout--you can really believe in this character. And yet the actual narrative is clear, not muddy like Henry James or other authors who might fit this same description.
The opening chapter; the book begins in media res, and you wonder throughout how we're ever going to get back to the beginning, which is fascinating in itself.
Overly dramatic, widely varying volume, impressive range of character voices
No; I couldn't stomach it for more than an hour at a time.
Joe Morton has a truly impressive and useful range of character voices throughout, but he puts way too much dramatic emphasis on every paragraph of the whole novel, and it's just frustrating. Whereas on a scale from Robot (0) to Melodrama (10) I like my books to be about a 5, 6 or 7, he's a consistent 8. (For comparison, I'd put Jim Dale at a 6.) It makes the whole book sound like it's full of caps, italics, and ellipses, and it's just way too overstimulating. I can handle listening to the whole book, but only in 20-60 min. snippets at a time.
For some reason I thought I would get this book because I'm black, but I realize race just wasn't enough to enjoy it. I'm ashamed to say I couldnt get past the first 3hrs, it just sound like rants, raves, and rambling. I keep saying to myself 1hr, ok 30m, then I said 90m and that's it! Even that was torture, I hope you have better luck.
I thought I'd wait until I was in my forties before I tackled this book. I'm thinking now that maybe I should have studied it in school. I did recall lots of excerpts from it as I came across them, but overall it did not have the profound effect on me that I was hoping it would. I found it to be extremely tedious at times and somewhat hard to follow (or at least keep my interest). Joe Morton is an excellent narrator, but this book did not really deliver for me. Sorry.