I did not particularly enjoy this book. While parts of it felt very well written, the overall pacing was pretty dreadful and the writing style was inconsistent. It was the kind of novel where you’re just reading along and everything seems okay (or maybe even good), and then all of a sudden there are some sections that don’t really make any sense, but they include some interesting/strange/emotive phrases, so you just go with it and trust that things will be tied into the rest of the story somehow later, but then you finish the book and look back and you’re just like Why???
Maybe I just haven’t thought about it enough yet to “get it”, but some of those rough sections felt almost like patchwork writing exercises that were roughly inserted into the novel because they either sounded cool or encouraged a particular emotion or something. But they weren’t really related to anything that was going on. So I guess maybe my issue with this book is that it didn’t feel polished?
Also, something that didn’t reallllly take away from the quality of the work, but was still fairly irksome, was the fact that the novel was littered with medical jargon to the point that it was distracting and encouraged skimming/skipping. The inclusion of so many ~obscure technical terms seemed like a dubious choice as this is not a novel that relies on scientific/medical accuracy for ANYTHING. I understand that the author completed a pediatric residency at Cal; I do not understand why he felt it necessary to copy so much of the vocabulary out of his medical textbooks into this story. Maybe he just wanted to lend authenticity to the hospital setting or something?
Overall, this was somewhat of a chore to read. However, it did have its nice bits, and I did read all 600+ pages in about four days, so it was at least somewhat compelling… I won’t say that I regret finishing it, but I don’t know that I would recommend it to anyone else.
2.5 stars! (out of 5)
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Miles run in 2014: 30.1
Books read in 2014: 9