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This Book is Greatly Misunderstood
on December 18, 2007
It is fine to not like a book and to say so, but the reasons many of these negative reviews are giving seem very confused. What I believe has happened here is that Alice Sebold is a very dark writer who takes on subject matters that most authors don't and somehow she fell into great success with the Lovely Bones, which is wonderful. The problem is Alice Sebold isn't a typical best-selling author and by that I mean she isn't a sell out. She doesn't write books to please the masses and that is very clear from this second novel.
The Almost Moon is not a book that's going to appeal to a mass audience, mostly because mass audiences want an "enjoyable" book that has a clear-cut ending and may have dark moments but leaves you with a sense of hope. The Almost Moon is none of these things. But does that make it a bad book? I'd like to argue no.
This book is compelling and strange and never lets you off the hook for a second. It challenges your thinking, your own relationships, and that thin line between normal behavior and the grotesque. This may not be "enjoyable" but it is powerful and worthy of anyone's time. I like dark books that go against the grain. The majority of books being written today are sloppy, commercial crap and this is not.
As for those who hated the ending I challenge you to re-think the book. The point is not to have a wrapped up story. The point is to explore the immediate aftermath (24 hours) of a horrible event in someone's life. It ends right where it should. This isn't some murder mystery crime novel that's going to tie everything into a little package like an episode of Law and Order. It's more complex than that.
I challenge people to take on this book and to see it for it is.