• Current Reads

      Life after Life Jill McCorkle
      This Is Your Captain Speaking Jon Methven
      The Starboard Sea Amber Dermont
      Snark David Denby
      Bring Up the Bodies Hilary Mantel
  • Popular Tags

  • Recent Reflections

  • Categories

  • Moleskine’s All-Time Favorites

  • Echoes

    Matthew on [825] Paradise Lost -John…
    Anokatony on [825] Paradise Lost -John…
    Matthew on The King’s English Books…
    Katie Marie on The King’s English Books…
    lazyhaze on Reading Kafka’s “T…
    Buried In Print on Reading Kafka’s “T…
  • Reminiscences

  • Blog Stats

    • 991,125 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,661 other followers

Hanya Yanagihara

Hanya Yanagihara’s new book, at 720 pages, is intimidating. I know it’s one of the biggest novels to be published this year, but sheer size and metaphorical weight of several prestigious award nominations actually make me keep the distance. A Little Life has received positive reviews in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The Wall Street Journal, which all reflect on the largeness of the novel’s numerous themes.

The real reason for my reluctance to read is the reminder of The Secret History and The Goldfinch, for high I had high hope but were no more than some conspiracy implemented by a close group of people. The characters in A Little Life belong to a group of talented and artistic friends whom Yanagihara traces from college days to their early middle age in and around New York City. The themes it professes are the ones I find overkilled in literature: sex and food, sleep and friends, money and fame. I also don’t like a narrative style that observes the drip of daily lives. So tedious and unnecessary. The Secret History begins with a modest chronicle of the way that life happens to a small group of people with a bit of history in common, but only avail to some eerie ritual murder. It’s just too contrived. Yanagihara’s book remains on my radar because it was a Booker finalist, and it bears a vague resemblance to some kind of woman novel. So will see.

5 Responses

  1. Honestly, it’s one of the most beautiful, if emotionally harrowing books I’ve read in a long time.

  2. Loved especially the Secret History but also the Goldfinch🙂 Will give this book a shot too I think

  3. I read so affected by A Little Life that I literally could not read anything for weeks afterward. It was beautiful and tragic and yes, there are some elements that seemed a little too perfect or not realistic for the character but all in all, I fell in love with the story. But Matt, it will make you physically ill in places and it will make you a little angry too. It stirs up a lot of emotions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: