Oh my god, this is what is left of the author of milestones like "Garp" and "Hotel New Hampshire"...?!? The former master of original, quirky, engaging characters and thoughts and stories delivers a chatty, empty, tired and convoluted heap of blabber that tries so hard you almost feel pity. But while.some of his last books were inferior only when compared to his best works, this one is just "inferior, period." Just like T. C. Boyle he attempts in vain to make his "old same-same" work but without creating anything remotely as interesting as he once did. Cross-dressing grandpa, hot wrestler, mythical father figure, sexually confused adolecents... yada, yada, YAWWWN. He once was brealing literary ground, now he is only breaking literary winds.
Got this audio "book" from my sister. I am gay and I do enjoy my share of "guilty reading pleasures" and harmless fun-fiction. But this "novel" is not breezy, nor funny, nor light, nor entertaining nor anything positive. It makes the worst soap opera episode you have ever seen seem like a Shakespeare play. The story would have not been enough even for a short story, the characters and dialogue and development border on the retarded - and all is made even worse by the pompous narrator who gives the characters painfully-clicheed "voice attempts" and obviously tries to breathe some involuntarily hilarious depth into this shallow, dumb, annoying and boring caricature of a "novel".
Wow, I am 44 years old and I read a lot - this ranks as one of the worst "books" (I refuse to even call it a real book) I have ever read/heard. Beware.
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