6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
, August 11, 2005
This review is from: BODY: A Novel (Paperback)
I'm divided as to whether the characters, who feel caricatured, are overdone and outsized, or whether I just haven't spent enough time in the South to see the truth behind the types, something to which Crews certainly has more claim. Even giving him the benefit of the doubt however, this novel-whether because of the aura of caricature in whole or in part-just doesn't have the same believability as The Knockout Artist. Things just as dangerous and outrageous happen in both books, but The Knockout Artist plays it cool, almost underhanded, without scene after scene of someone impotently fuming or otherwise blowing his top. The style is still knocked-off, rough-hewn; in Knockout Artist it approached the genuinely terse. Whereas that book generated genuine fear and creepiness, this one merely seems grotesque and hysterical.
That said, I really warmed to the characters halfway through the book. I'm a sucker for moments of genuine tenderness in unexpected places, be it teacher-student, parent-child, or between rivals.
The ending, played almost entirely for shock value, manages to be surprising but unsatisfying, insufficiently supported either by tone or character development. Perhaps more time might have been spent on Nail and Shereel, and less on the burlesque between Billy Bat and Earline.
All in all, a breeze of a book when you're tired, and not up to more complex syntax. Good for late night, or recovery from a cold, even very early morning commute.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you?