The Cradle, by Patrick Somerville

Why is it that certain authors seem to believe that to convey the idea that a character is simple, down-to-earth, unpretentious, it is necessary to incorporate poor grammar? (And I’m not talking about in the dialogue itself; that would actually make sense.) I assume that this is a deliberate choice; either that, or I wonder where the editors were or what they were thinking.

Also, is it really necessary to tell us what we are supposed to realize and/or be thinking in response to a certain event in the plot? Or even always to tell us what the character was thinking? Yes, maybe we’ll miss the point, or if not all of them, some of them. But how much more powerful is the metaphor if we are allowed to recognize it and apply it for ourselves?

I would like to “get my hands on” this book; it could be a lovely short story. As it stands I feel like it’s the novel, Cliffs Notes, and lecture outline all wrapped up in one frustrating, awkwardly written package.

Maybe reading David Mitchell has ruined me for everyone else.


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