Salvage, By Jane F Kotapish
Sunday 24 May 2009
It seems ungenerous to put down a debut novel, but I found the reliance on kooky, pithy observation after kooky, pithy observation extremely unengaging in this one. Jane F Kotapish is trying too hard from the first line, and it takes her focus away from what matters.
Her unnamed narrator has a tricky relationship with her mother, who suffered a miscarriage while with a man called Charles when the narrator was very young.
The mother seems never to have got over it; the daughter, possibly to escape it all, leaves for New York as soon as she can. While there, she witnesses a death on the subway – at least, I think she does.
The moment is recalled in poetic terms, the assault on the narrator and then on another bystander rendered a "dance", which makes it difficult to tell what actually happens.
As a result of romanticising this event, Kotapish has a problem making us understand and empathise with her protagonist's subsequent breakdown.
This feels dishonest, and while that might be because Kotapish wanted to show her character's inability to face what has happened, it's a misjudgement that seriously affects her story.
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
- 5 Rashida Jones speaks out against male-centric porn saying 'women should have sex and feel good about it'
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
Game of Thrones really doesn't want Danny Dyer - EastEnders star rejected three times
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
The secret joke hidden in Silence of the Lambs' most famous line
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account