Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sad, but honest, commentary on the state of modern family life., May 26, 2009
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This review is from: The Great Perhaps: A Novel (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book offers a surprisingly honest, yet sad, glimpse into the life of today's modern family. The Casper family is, in many ways, like many modern families: both parents work at jobs that require long hours away from home, and more often than not, bring that work home with them. They are not religious - maybe going to church once a year. The children, who are mostly ignored (who also pretend they like it that way) are both rebelling, albeit in very different ways, and I don't think they are quite sure what they are rebelling against. Each member of the family is so caught up in their own drama that they have no idea what is going on with the rest of their family, let alone with the rest of the world. As such, the parents marriage starts to crumble with each parent scared to just have it out with the other - instead they hide from each other, and from their children as well. The backdrop for all of this is 2004, the time of the race for President between Bush and Kerry, while the wars in the Iraq and Afghanistan are raging. The backstory/core to all of this is the cowardice and dominance of mankind as a biological theory. The Caspers are descended from a line of cowards, all afraid to do anything. They are afraid to speak to each other out of fear of what the other might do or say. They are afraid to rely on each other, and even to admit to the rest of the world that yes, in fact, I am related to that crazy/pathetic person. While they are afraid of all these things, they all have their strong opinions on everything, but in the end are afraid to back those opinions up. Much of the story returns to the war aspect, with the family opposed to Bush, and the actions he took with the war. They don't understand why history is full of so many wars, why man is determined to be so dominant over other men. By the end of the book, clear opinions/hypotheses are made regarding a theory of dominance and cowardice in man, and basically why both are needed in the world. Overall, this was an interesting, if slightly strange book, with probably a lot more symbolism, etc. than I am capable of extracting. It's one that will make you think. Not your typical read, but recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars (45 customer reviews)
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Location: Massachusetts

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