Monday, August 16, 2010

Glover's Mistake by Nick Laird

In a beautifully described contemporary London, jealous spite leads a man to destroy his friend’s romantic relationship

If you’re going to go to the trouble of writing a novel, shouldn’t there be a burning compelling reason to do so? A life or death reason you must shout from the rooftops. This book was an exquisitely painted miniature with lovely descriptions of London. The problem is that the stakes are miniscule. Also, the plot machinations and the character motivations for the last third of the novel became frantic and unbelievable. About schlubbly David, a part time English teacher with a Mr. Peepers type alter ego blogger and his incredibly good looking virginal Christian much younger roommate James. Ruth Marks comes into their lives, a dashing 45 year old artist and immediately falling in love with James. They actually decide to get married. But here’s a problem – why would such a “winner” such as Ruth even bother with these two loafers?

In many ways, this book reminded me of Zoe Heller’s Notes On a Scandal (the unreliable narrator while being a friend to the hero, is actually making his life much worse.) Only in that book, the stakes were huge – you couldn’t help but turn the page. It was hard to finish this short novel. What I was really interested in though was David’s relationship with a fellow blogger – that seemed real and sad.

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