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« February Online Book Club: "Pictures of You" by Caroline Leavitt | Main | "Red Hook Road" by Ayelet Waldman »

January 27, 2011

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Nancy Shohet West

I am a big fan of this book. I read it a couple of years ago and it has definitely stayed with me. (At some point I posted a review on Amazon.) One aspect for which I give Perrotta a great deal of credit is his ability to handle ambiguous characters. It seems to me that authors need to be conscious of a spectrum: at one end are characters so predictable that they are stereotypes, and at the other are characters so unpredictable that they lack credibility. Many characters in Perrotta's novel inhabit a deftly created gray area: like real people, they are ambiguous. They do things that surprise you and yet still seem plausible. It's a model of which some other authors of popular fiction should take note.

Kelly Currie

I loved it also and agree that Perrotta is very skilled at drawing characters that are not black and white or cookie-cutter. I'll admit that I started the book thinking I would be wholly on Ruth's side and contemptuous of Tim, but at the end I didn't feel that way at all. I was reminded again that the issues and the people who support and oppose them are complex and should be thoughtfully considered without rash and impulsive reactions.

Elisabeth

I, read this awhile ago, and remember enjoying it. the subject matter was different and something new. I also found this to be true of Sag Harbor which I read this summer. I am curious to see what you think of The False Friend by Myla Goldberg. I just finished listening to Wickett's Remedy and I was very disappointed with the ending.

nomadreader (Carrie)

I can't believe I haven't read this one yet. Perrotta is one of my favorite authors, and I've loved all of his books. I need to make time for this one soon.

Gayle

@Nomadreader - you definitely should pick this one up. Especially if you're already a Perrotta fan - you'll like it.

@Elisabeth - funny, I just started Sag Harbor on audio. I agree - it's different. False Friend keeps getting bumped down the list.

@Kelly and @Nancy - Totally agree - there is no black and white here.

Wendy

My local bookstore has had this on clearance forever, and almost every time I'm in there I look at it but don't buy it. Sounds like I'm going to the bookstore! Although...Campbell Scott is tempting. :)

Jennifer

I have not read this or really anything by Tom Perrotta but after this review, I'm thinking I should. This book sounds absolutely fascinating to me.

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