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Perfect Reader: A Novel Paperback – July 12, 2011
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I thought this book was beautiful and merciless and sad, like the main character, Flora Dempsey. Flora is educated, financially comfortable, undeniable privileged and profoundly unhappy. Her parents' divorce, a childhood accident, a lack of talent equal to her father's; whatever the source, the author has carefully presented just how miserable this young woman is, and how mean that makes her. She returns to the fictional town and college of Darwin to sort out her father's home and papers after his death. He's a respected critic and who was at one time president of Darwin college. He's respected enough that Harold Bloom is at his funeral, which sets off a small cascade of referential in-jokes at Bloom's expense. My point is, either you'll gobble that up or you'll roll your eyes. I laughed.
One of the burdens of intellectualism the way it can strip away the comforts and consolations available to people who don't study everything to death--hobbies, service to others, honest physical labor. Flora tries to take a class, walk the dog, make the best of her freedom from work, but she suffers from that profound disaffection of sitting smack in the middle of her WASP privilege while feeling alienated from all the other people sitting alongside her.Read more ›
The novel is seamlessly written and seems so genuine I have to believe some of it is autobiographical. Author Pouncey presents characters that are well rounded, consistent and memorable. Her portrayal of the elite college town of Darwin and its rather self absorbed inhabitants is one of the best parts of the book. And though Flora can be an annoying character she is always an interesting one. Though a relatively short book it is not a quick read but one the reader wants to take time to savor. PERFECT READER will be a favorite of many thinking, literature loving, book lovers.
This is, primarily, a book about characterization. As you can see from the description provided by Amazon, the plot is pretty basic. It is true that nothing earth-shattering or really exciting happens. It's not that kind of book. What we do get are some very well-developed characters interacting in believable ways. We get a lot of intelligent and funny, and also nasty and childish, observations about people and their beliefs. I was a bit taken aback that several reviewers were very sour on the book because they didn't like Flora. They thought she was selfish and immature and were bored by her observations. Personally, I thought she came across as a very complex, real young woman. Is she totally admirable? No. On the other hand she is far from being despicable.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are looking for a protagonist you'll like or even understand, Flora is not for you. And the story is surely not fast-paced. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Olivia de Winter
This is chick lit with pretensions. Too many words telling a trite story.Published 23 months ago by Lime Tree
I finished this book, and I have to tell you right now that I will not finish a book (or a movie) that isn't worth finishing. Read morePublished on April 27, 2013 by Just Trying to Help
I did like the writing, and for the most part, the story. It takes a lot to keep me reading these days (a story needs to grab my attention from the get-go). Read morePublished on June 4, 2012 by Amazon Customer
Did I read this book? No. Why am I giving it 1 star? Because Pouncey was my teacher at Columbia University's University Writing course and she gave me a B when I clearly deserved... Read morePublished on August 30, 2011 by Mr. Ed
The Perfect Reader was a chore to read. I finished it only because I feel obligated to finish the books I receive through Amazon.com's "Vine" program. Read morePublished on June 21, 2011 by Emereld2
I have to applaud the writing in this book. It was really well done. The characters are vivid and you do want to find out what happens to them. Read morePublished on April 25, 2011 by ReaderWriterPainter
I found the story engaging at times but this is a PERFECT example of a writer trying too hard to be "literary. Read morePublished on November 22, 2010 by Mike Donovan
This book has received so much praise, and I cannot fathom why. It's terribly boring, and too much emphasis is placed on mundane details that add nothing to the story. Read morePublished on August 5, 2010 by This is Me