Affliction

by Russell Banks | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0060920076 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingifyouknewwing of Calgary, Alberta Canada on 7/22/2018
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingifyouknewwing from Calgary, Alberta Canada on Sunday, July 22, 2018
My first impression of this book was misleading. Within the first few pages, I was already starting to be annoyed by Banks’ sloppy writing. He frequently used the same phrases in rapid proximity (referring to his brother’s ‘dumb belligerence’ and then, later in the same paragraph, calling him a ‘stupidly belligerent man’), and even sometimes within the same sentence (‘Preoccupied with the details of my own life, I listened to him as if he were a boring soap opera on TV and I was too busy or distracted by the details of my own life to get up and change the channel.”) He was also vague at times- he consistently referred to ‘Halloween Eve’, leaving the reader wondering if he meant the evening preceding Halloween (a la Christmas Eve), before it became evident that in fact, he meant Halloween itself- just, in the evening. He flipped back and forth between “used to be” and “use to be”, even within the same sentence. A few faults are to be expected, of course, but this was enough to present a major distraction from the story. It’s unfortunate that neither the author nor the editor noticed these.

I stuck it out to see if the story itself might show promise, and to my surprise, within a few chapters the writing improved dramatically. Perhaps Banks is one of those people who needs to warm up before hitting his stride, but once the book got going I found that he was skilled and deft, especially with descriptions, and his characters were complex and interesting. He has excellent insight into people’s motivations. I could clearly envision the town and its inhabitants, and they seemed true to life. The story was unpredictable in the way that real life is, with no tidy conclusions. I liked it.

Journal Entry 2 by wingifyouknewwing at Indigo Hotel in Del Mar, California USA on Thursday, January 17, 2019

Released 1 mo ago (1/17/2019 UTC) at Indigo Hotel in Del Mar, California USA

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Released on the book-exchange shelf in the lobby. This is to the left of the registration desk, above a few shelves holding items for sale.

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