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An unlikable protagonist doesn't grow throughout the book
on January 8, 2013
John Lincoln is not happy. He doesn't realize, but everyone else in his life does: his estranged wife, his boss, strangers on the subway, his coworkers, his friend (and he really only has one friend). He's been caustic and cynical for so long that he no longer realizes that not everyone greets the world with such an unpleasant, jaded attitude. He wants things in his life to change, but he's unwilling (afraid?) to put forth any effort toward changing them - but of course that's not how he sees it. In his mind, he's a victim of sorts.
The novel begins just as things seem to picking up for Lincoln. He's poised on the edge of change: his wife has left him, there are changes afoot at work, and he's on the cusp of publishing what could be his break through novel. However, nothing goes the way he intended it. In fact, for much of the book, it feels like nothing goes at all. The plot meandered along in an oddly compelling manner, but without much action. Lincoln is both despicable and unsympathetic, and yet I found myself still pulling for him.
By the end of the book, Lincoln's life has changed substantially - yet he's still the same person.
I'm oddly ambivalent on this book. It was a quick read for me, and I didn't want to put it down. Yet at the end, I felt extremely dissatisfied, and not in that way a good book can unnerve you and shake you up. I just wanted something MORE from it.