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Glover's Mistake First Edition Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
While I was reading this story it made me think of many other, and better, books about relationships I've read in the past, and by the end of Glover's Mistake I could only think that I was the one who made the mistake of reading this book!
About halfway through this book becomes a downward spiral. You realize that none of the characters are likable and the main protagonist is on the verge of evil. Not much of a plot is going on, just scheming and cover-up and the foibles of being a creep. There are also modern culture references / criticism, but towards the end it's like Laird is spouting his philosophy as if it's not a novel but an essay.
I don't recommend this book. Laird is a good writer; I got this one because I enjoyed "Utterly Monkey" so much, and I'd recommend that one first. "Glover.." turned out to be a major downer with very little positive to make it worthwhile for me.
It starts out slowly, as the protagonist (David) seems dreary from the first, and nothing changes that. While his internal dialog is occasionally witty, it's at strange odds with his conversation, which is puerile, and often embarassing to the reader.
We're supposed to see this as a love triangle, in which David's unreturned infatuation with the artist Ruth is derailed when she becomes involved with David's flatmate Glover. David broods, whines, and eventually manipulates a destruction of Ruth and Glover's relationship. This might seem sad, except that one doesn't really care what happens to the relationship: Ruth is unsympathetic, and Glover always seems in way over his head.
Glover's mistake, which ends his relationship with Ruth, seems inconsistent with his character and ends the novel on a false note that reflects a lack of imagination on the writer's part.
A Few Positives
- Ruth's daughter Bridget is probably the most dynamic, interesting character in the novel. Sassy, rebellious and intelligent she enjoys pointing out her mother's hypocrisies.
- David's bitter sarcasm can be entertaining.
- Controversy becomes cliche; blogging, snorting coke, older women dating younger men, religion, and modern art. Laird is trying too hard to connect with this generation. He instead should have picked one or two and really developed the issues.
- The scheming that occurs in the second half of the novel is contrived and an obviously desperate attempt to add excitement to the plot.
- The three main characters aren't interesting or well-developed.
- Laird is trying to monopolize on the whole "cougar" trend currently occurring. This would be fine if he was being innovative about it- he is not. The relationship follows the exact trend you would expect.
Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with this novel and would not recommend it.
In college David Pinner developed a crush on his teacher Ruth Marks. Years later she has returned to London for an exhibition of her artwork and David goes to meet her. Knowing no one else in the area David and Ruth quickly become friends, and, naturally, Ruth meets David's much younger roommate James Glover. Unfortunately for David, Ruth falls for Glover. And pretty quickly, what should be a casual fling between a woman pushing 50 and a man barely old enough to drink starts to become more serious.
The characters in the story are very well fleshed out. David Pinner is a self-sabotaging perfectionist. His expectations are unrealistic so he's always disappointed and frustrated. Ruth Marks is a directionless artist. She tends to live in the moment and has a laisez faire attitude toward relationships. And James Glover is a naïve idealist. He has trouble wrapping his conservative ideals around Ruth's bisexual history and three previous marriages.
The language author Nick Laird uses is dynamic, at times direct, but also filled with blunt, vivid metaphor.
The trouble with having a protagonist who doesn't like himself is it's hard for the reader to empathize with him. David Pinner aggressively sets himself up for disappointment, then, when the worst happens, he goes online and blogs about it, which, of course, comes back to bite him.
Also the trouble with stories leading to an "inevitable conclusion" is that there are no real surprises.
However the strong point of the story is its uncomfortably accurate character studies.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In addition to reading for my "enjoyment" - I asked a Londoner to read it, thinking it would transport him back to another time or place. He indicated it did neither. Read morePublished on April 19, 2012 by FredMcC
Set in the London art world, "Glover's mistake" presents a story of delicate nuances of a relationship between two men and a woman. Read morePublished on January 11, 2010 by Aleksandra Nita-Lazar
The previous reviewers could have been voyeur bloggers capable of writing Pinner's Dampner erasable blog. Read morePublished on November 9, 2009 by Patrick L. Grady
I disagree with most of the reviewers below: I thought the characters were well-developed and the story original and fascinating. Read morePublished on September 16, 2009 by chico
I listened to author Nick Laird on the radio as he explained the story of his latest novel, Glover's Mistake. Read morePublished on August 31, 2009 by Glenn Gallagher
This book is written in 3rd person, but follows the story of main character David (it allows you into his head, but not into other characters'). Read morePublished on August 20, 2009 by jennahw
[this review refers to the advanced reader's copy]
like so many books written these days, 'glover's mistake' appears, for the sake of credibility, take the hipster angle... Read more
This is a good love triangle story set in London. I can relate to the main character, David, is a few ways. Read morePublished on August 15, 2009 by Jason T. Fetters
Plot oversimplification: Socially inept Boy (Protagonist David Pinnar) still (10+ years later) wants dreamy celebrity teacher (Ruth Marks) who doesn't remember him; befriends her... Read morePublished on August 13, 2009 by MagicSkip