Yates was doing suburban malaise decades before people were talking about the latest Mad Men episode (not to bash Mad Men... love that, too). His characters and dialogue are sharp and drip with subtext.
Excellent book and reader.
I don't know what the hell people on this site are looking for in a work of fiction that they're giving this book/reader less than 4-5 stars, but this book is excellent. Perhaps the title encouraged a little misunderstanding into the point of the narrative, but how would a 7-hour diatribe against an airline be at all entertaining? This story is compelling, if a little obvious (the drunken poet recants his misspent talent and youth), but the characters and wit are amazingly detailed and imaginative. The reader was excellent as well.
This novel doesn't move quickly. Rather, it luxuriates in the mind of the narrator for long stretches. There is very interesting story material here, but this is more of an intricately designed character sketch than a more traditionally arced novel.
That being said, though, it DESERVED the pulitzer. No question. Roth is a master of rendering psychology on the page.
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