Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Everything is Illuminated

Everything Is IlluminatedEverything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is a 4.5-star book that I had to downgrade to 3 stars because of semi-graphic sexual content that was at best tangential to the book.

A story of culture clash told in two timelines. The modern timeline was my favorite, and is where all the punches land. The older timeline feels more like it's giving depth. It's the story of a town, and the author wants you to feel the weight of its history, its humanity. And he does that, generally following the descendants of a single family, but branching out with other little anecdotes and documentary bits.

The newer timeline is really fun, told by a ukranian guide with an interesting grasp on English. The characters start with self-deception and posturing, and there really are interesting depths that they discover.

The sex is never quite graphic enough to stop me from reading, but was enough to make me feel uncomfortable recommending this book. The point of its inclusion was lost on me, except that I think the author considers it an important element of humanity?

View all my reviews