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Maven Books

Reviews about historical, literary, classic, and other fiction.  Miscellaneous book things.

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Complete Short Stories (Virago Modern Classics)
Joanna Kingham, Elizabeth Taylor

I Am Radar by Reif Larsen

I Am Radar: A Novel - Reif Larsen

It's very difficult to approach reviewing this book, because there is just so much to it, stretching to nearly 650 pages.


There were certainly aspects of it that I liked.  It has a unique premise and beginning, and some of the writing is really wonderful, at least in the more descriptive parts of the narrative.  There is a lot of complexity to it, and intriguing snapshots of certain characters really drew me in.


However, there are also a lot of things I didn't like.  The endless references to fake documents and books, as well as scientific or historical (pseudo?) information, became tedious after awhile.  Most of the conversations, especially involving Radar, were so mundane and dull, and really took away from the parts of the book that were really well-written.  While some of the characters were intriguing, the title character seemed flat and boring (and undeserving of the "lead" role).  Ultimately, the whole premise of a group of people putting on performances without an audience just didn't resonate with me, and made it feel like there wasn't a good aim for the whole story (and the disappointing ending bears that out).


Larsen certainly tried to take on a great deal with this book, but I just don't think he quite succeeded.