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Book Talk--Martin Sloane

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Book one: Martin Sloane by Michael Redhill
Verdict: Skip it

I don't know what is it with me and literary books that other people seem to adore. Maybe I'm just not deep enough to understand it, maybe I was hoping for too much, maybe the real value of a book isn't in how entertaining it is but how important and thought provoking its lessons are--or maybe, I just don't care.

That's the case with Martin Sloane. The plot consists entirely of a young woman, Jolene, who falls in love with this older artist named Martin Sloane. They meet and go on dates and all that wonderful stuff, and one day he disapppears, and she goes out to find him ten years later with the help of her old friend, and discover flashes in his past that supposedly reveals why he leaves the people he loves behind.

But then, of course, the writer's so preoccupied with those little details and descriptions that there is no pace, there's nothing that makes me want to find out what happens next. At some point, I just want to scream, GET IT DONE AND GET IT OUT ALREADY! But, of course, I read on, because there are plot turns and the character keeps me rather curious. This seems to get worse as the book progresses, especially with the flashbacks to Martin's past. I'm sure there's special meaning and symbolism behind everything, but it's not presented in an interesting matter. As in, at all.

In fact, many instances, the random flashbacks and musings about life and love gets to be rather pretencious. This even feels verified as except for a small section half-way in the book, Redhill never uses quotes, not even for dialogue, which makes things rather confusing--or should I say, innovative and creative and adding to the atmosphere of the story?

Too bad this exploration of human relationships doesn't also explore the joys of giving enjoyment to the reader. Or, really, again, maybe I'm just not cut out for this sort of exploration.



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