Top critical review
A book so boring it could lull hummingbirds into a deep restful sleep
Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2019
Endless minutiae which goes nowhere. In Steinbeck, every bit of minutiae, every tiny detail builds a subtext, supports the inner life of the character. In the book, the details actually distract from whatever is supposed to be going on. Wolf wastes pages about his difficulties taking his dachshund for a walk. There is no imagination in the language. And sex everywhere. Believe me when I write that I am no prude, but sex, like everything else in literature, should be presented through the author's unique vision; so boilerplate references to tight women's jeans are presented as if we hadn't all heard that talk countless times. Then there is the completely unbelievable bit about him being trapped in his bedroom one morning by such a fierce erection that would be impossible to hide from the help. Nonsense. All men have faced this problem at one time or another, but there's always some way to walk sideways, or carry something, etc. If my review seems needlessly and gratuitously sexual it is because the book is so. Finally, I consider use of the "F" word the author's admission that he lacked the imagination to come up with something better. David Mamet, in his play Glengary Glenross is the only successful use of the "F" word I have ever seen. He uses it so much in that play (It's in nearly every sentence at least once) that he reveals the word's true vacuousness, it's real utter emptiness of meaning.