Sunday, February 1, 2009
The book, A Fortunate Age, by Joanna Smith Rakoff, follows a group of friends from Oberlin through the morass of their daily lives, by looking at the group of friends one at a time, one chapter at a time.
The book is well-written, hence my 3-star rating on some other sites and thumbs slightly down here, and I'm sure it has an audience but I'm not it. I pretty much hated every single character and was annoyed with how they related to one another within the group. I had to force myself to finish it. I am not a fan of the whiny, misunderstood, lazy Gen X-er spirit portrayed here. As a Gen-Xer myself, I feel like I know these people and their ilk and they annoy me in real life. Why would I want to read about them too? It did not help the book's cause for me.
I also had a problem with this author's portrayal of New York as one of the characters in the book. I think it is fine to do that if you make the city relevant for everyone. I live in Chicago, so even though it took me a while to catch on to what she was saying about a particular area, eventually I did identify with the neighborhoods the author describes as similar to some from here (even if I don't know the specific New York area she might be talking about). But, it annoyed me to think that people outside of cities would be at a loss to "get" a whole character in the book, even if that character is a city.
I won't be recommending this to anyone.