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An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Sweet Sorrow" by David Nicholls
"With fully fleshed-out characters, terrific dialogue, bountiful humor, and genuinely affecting scenes, this is really the full package of a rewarding, romantic read."—Booklist Learn more
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First problem. It drops its protagonist onto this strange path from the start. No setup. No character development. You don't know why he is on this path, nor do you care.
Second problem. The story is very linear. Follow the path, occasionally battle some boss, repeat.
Its like someone took an old, bad video game and tried to convert it into a novel. It does not work.
I'm about 3/4ths of the way through and I think Drew needs to see his therapist more often. He's got some issues he needs to resolve. It's a mix of Stephen King's The Long Walk and that acid trip you had your first time at Burning Man.
That fighter tries desperately to K.O. the opponent in the final seconds of the 10th round but only feels air against his gloves as he's clawing for breath and remembering better days...
If this book is free via prime give it a go and see what you think but I can't recommend paying any amount for it
As far as the story, it's so insane, and the book starts immediately. There's not pages and pages of set up, it jumps into the craziness right from the get go. There are parts that seem to go on a little bit about half way through the book but it's definitely not unbearable just a difference from the crazy speed of the story from early parts.
I thought the first twist would be the only one, but right up to the end it's like riding on a train with no tracks. Just read it.
If you liked this I would read John Dies at the End and the rest of the book (heck, just start with that one and read the author's entire collection).
It was creative and a bit different from a usual modern fantasy.
I don't want to trash the novel because I know how much work goes into writing one.
The only downside was that the main character was kind of a wimp and lacked in deserving empathy from the reader.
If that's what the writer was going for, then nailed it.
But at times the wining was a a bit repetitious and made me have to walk away from it more than a few times.
Perhaps I was the wrong demographic for the intended audience, but as a Male adult I found the main character to be a rather winy for a straight guy.
But I'm gay so what do I know.
Top international reviews
It's a lovely piece of surrealist literature, that grabs you and keeps beating you over the head with its strangeness until you give up any attempt at rationalisation. I was reminded favourably of the work of Mountain Goats singer John Darnielle, in that this has a brutal simplicity about it and the way it communicates its ideas.
To say too much more would mean venturing into spoiler territory. Suffice to say that this may not be for everyone, but I think if it clicks with you then you won't be able to help loving it.
Drew Magary matches characters who mirror the everyman's insecurities with the self-determining hero we all aspire to (unless you're one of those wretches that ends a sentence with a preposition...). His narrative is well crafted, linking grand odyssey with the tropes of modern cinema all the while keeping the reader engaged. It's not necessarily the Most Brilliant Story Ever, Man, but it's a quality story that explores the frailty and resilience of the human condition.
Certainly worth a read.
I am usually a murder mystery reader, but this caught my imagination and kept me enthralled. It's a combination of fantasy, science fiction, coming of age and death scenes with an unreal twist. Very very clever novel.
I blazed through it and damn near dropped the book to the floor on the last page.