January 05

Wild Abandon by Emily Bitto

Wild Abandon is right. I really hate to say it but I nearly abandoned this book 431 times. That’s how many pages long this book is.

It was so disappointing but because I thought it was more me than Emily Bitto, I persevered. I realised on page 431, it was definitely the author and 100% not me.

Reading this book was such hard going and if, like me, you absolutely adored The Strays, you’ll understand how I really, really, really, reaalllly wanted to like it. Sadly I felt like I was an English teacher reading a potentially talented student’s work – said student being someone who wanted to show how many words, how flowery, how uber-descriptive and how clever they could be. I got lost in the verbosity and for the love of plum pudding, it nearly killed me.

Pages and pages were lost to describing something so random, so meaningless and insignificant that at times I felt I might be having a seizure – my eyes went all fuzzy and my brain hurt a lot. I wasted too much time trying to figure out the point of the page-long paragraphs, seeking the illusive fullstops and thinking ‘what the bloody hell is going on here’ – something I usually reserve for politics.

I’ll make the description snappy.

Will, young Australian man flees Australia after heartbreak and heads to New York where he causes more heartache before escaping to middle America to live with a troubled Vietnam vet who cares for a zoo’s worth of exotic animals. It all goes to hell in a hand basket.

48 words. There you have it. You’re welcome.

But that is just my two cents worth.