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Feet of Clay Kindle Edition
|Length: 339 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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What makes Max interesting in this novel is his refusal to admit what he is or what he’s done. It’s always twisted around so it’s someone else’s fault, often hers. When someone else uses the word “rape,” he’s appalled. He thought he was helping her, but then things got out of hand.
The two of them have an intense and terrible relationship. Max is controlling and endlessly probing for information, unable to stop. She’s alternately victim and willing partner. For me, watching their story unfold was like driving by the scene of a car accident. I hated to look and yet couldn’t look away.
Taylor is a survivor, though, and manages to find a way through. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if Max gets drunk some night and hunts her down. It’s built into the character of the obsessive lover/predator.
Max starts as a teacher genuinely interested in helping a girl written off by society. However, moments of poor judgement and ill-advised instincts can turn everything on its head. In a night that will haunt Max forever, he also loses the student he so desperately wants to help.
Never forgetting that night, Max later encounters Taylor, who appears to have forgotten the night that continues to haunt Max. This is where the complex morality play starts to unravel.
While the key plot outlining the book may be eloquently summed up, it’s all about the intricate exploration of an obsessive, deeply troubled, deeply flawed man grappling with his horrendous mistakes and self-focused determinations to declare himself as well meaning. Taylor is severely imperfect too, addicted to a cornucopia of things.
Feet of Clay is excessively dark, with no pause for relief. I would have preferred for the dialogue to move each character’s evolution forward a bit more, or cut out some of the repetitive dialogue to make for more economical storytelling.
Outside of these couple comments, this story is brutal and beautiful. The characterizations are detailed yet essential to shedding light into a dark world of obsession, abuse, and mental illness that most readers may find foreign, making these descriptions ever so essential.
Their involvement with each other affects both their lives, and mostly in ways that make things worse. It made me think and when I had finished I was still undecided if it would have been better if they had never met.
The writer does an excellent job of showing how addiction and obsession can ruin a person life, and how the two conditions are very similar and extremely difficult, but not impossible, to overcome. There is an immense amount of detail showing what each character is going through. If you like character stories, this is one you should read. The author also does well to keep each of characters individual and true to themselves.
In the end I decided to give it four of five stars because there was an a great deal of repetition in the book, and this added greatly to the length. This was the first book I've read that went so deeply into a single human relationship, so I am not sure if it common to the genre. To give some examples, there must have been at least ten separate instances where it was established that the teacher liked the student's essays when she was in high school and at many points throughout the book the characters will often say things like, "I've already told you this, but..." or "Do we have to have this discussion again?". I really feel the author's message would be better conveyed if the book was cut down to about the size of a novella.
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If the list of trigger warnings did not already indicate this, Feet of Clay...Read more