Review of Await Your Reply

Posted by on Oct 5, 2011 in Book Reviews | 0 comments

Await Your ReplyAwait Your Reply by Dan Chaon

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I read this book for a fiction seminar class. It was readable, and not much more than that.

The bad:

First, I found the constant, nested flashbacks extremely annoying. Half the time I forgot what was happening in the timeline of the book because I was buried in some flashback that went on for a chapter and a half.

Second, I had the “twist” figured out by the time I finished chapter four. For a book that had the twist so hyped, that’s a letdown. I kept waiting to be amazed by some huge revelation that just never came.

Third, the ending is lackluster. I’m not going to go into details, but let’s just say Chaon leaves way too much dangling to be left with any real feeling of resolution. A book doesn’t have to have a happy ending, but it does have to have an ending.

Fourth, the character depth wasn’t consistent. A few characters are very well drawn. Miles, for example, I really connected with. Other characters were unappealing mediocre. Lucy just never came off the page at all for me, she was flat and completely uninteresting.

Fifth, the pacing was slow. Really slow, especially through the middle of the book.

The good:

It’s prettily written. If you like flowery prose, Chaon will definitely satisfy you there. There’s a lot of lovely metaphor and some interesting delving into the idea of self that almost bears the ponderous weight of the story.

In summary, I would have stopped reading if I hadn’t been assigned this book.

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