Sunday, May 31, 2015

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara


That's what I have to say to you about The People in the Trees. I don't want to talk about too much because I think the reader needs to form their own opinions. But I will say a few non-pertinent things:

As a first novel, I'm amazed at the spot-on writing about, but actually by, such a disagreeable main character. His dialogue is condescending and detestable throughout the book, but always in character. And the overarching frame and footnotes by, what I pictured as a brainwashed Watson, were icing on the cake. Side note: I listened to this as an audiobook, which fantastically used two different narrators for the parts. I'm guilty of often skipping footnotes, and this format forced the issue. Also an audiobook bonus, I didn't have to try and guess how to say any of the hard to guess names of people, islands, rituals, etc.

The worlds created--from the lab, to Ivu’ivu, to Norton's home, felt real and tangible with the right amount of details.

But things escalated quickly from a book I couldn't stop recommending to one I definitely won't be comfortable recommending. And I'm going to leave it at that.

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