Emotive and touching. Author realizes that making something tragic includes developing characters to whom tragic things happening is indeed a tragedy. The reading is wonderful also.
Serendipitous and playful. Unimpressive and trivial. This is a kid's book; only it's chock full of trite adult content that would render it impermissible for a young audience. If it is indeed intended for an adult audience, it's aimed at the half-witted and inattentive, who delight in predicable plot "twists" and the eased joy of getting exactly what you expected. If you are taking a break from your "Everyone Loves Raymond" marathon to try this "reading" thing, this may be the book for you. If you've ever read a decent book in your life, and continue reading to hopefully find once again the bliss that it brought you, it is likely that you'll spend your time with this book marveling, not at its genius, but at the miracle that it's STILL GOING.
Bad news, but don't shoot the messenger. Well argued and hopefully completely wrong :)
Finkelstein: Crucial, important and revealing book.
Crandall: Countless hair-raising, knuckle-whitening, palm-to-forehead mispronunciations.
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