Having majored in Comparative Literature at a well-known university, I admit to being something of a literary snob. I had uncertain expectations for this novella by an actor. I was very pleasantly surprised and impressed by this well-paced, original story. First of all, the narrative itself is an inventive twist on a conventional love triangle. In fact, it is not really a love triangle at all, but rather the simultaneous story of three intersecting lovers. Secondly, Mr. Martin enriches the tale by weaving in all sorts of precise and humorous observations on daily life, depression, relationships, love, ambition, inertia, and human eccentricities. Some reviewers have said Mr. Martin did not do a good job at expressing and developing the female point of view. Quite the contrary, I was amazed at how well he seemed to be able to crawl into the female psyche. All the characters, with the possible exception of Lisa, were interesting, well-rounded, and real. I cared about them. I don't understand how people can say this book was depressing. Yes, there are moments of despair, but the end is so uplifting (without being trite and "Hollywoodesque") and the story is all about people lifting themselves up, learning to take control of their lives. How is that depressing? Plus some of the laugh-out-loud funny moments (like Lisa's capture of 'Ray') really balance the sadder moments in the book. I also felt that Mr. Martin was an excellent reader (and I have listened to hundreds of audio books). My only complaint is that the last quarter of the book read a bit like an epilogue. It was as if Mr. Martin was on a deadline or trying to meet a page limit, so he summarized the action in a sort of play-by-play rather than really writing the end of the book. I would have loved to read more of his wonderful prose, injected as it was with clever turns of phrase, interesting bon mots, and believable streams of consciousness.
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