Thoughts by Percival Everett, 2020, 224 pagesChallenge: TOB Genre/Theme: Contemporary Lit Type/Source: Tradeback / Indie Bookstore Online Purchase Why I read this now: Last up IN HOUSE
WHAT’s it ABOUT: A father grieves his only child who has a terminal illness. He is an academic, as is his wife. He pursues a mystery rescue mission as an adventure, as a diversion to his grief.
Borrowing Ruthiella‘s description from gr:
Zach Wells is a tenured geology professor with a secure, if uneventful, life. That security breaks down, however, when his pre-teen daughter starts having health problems. Meanwhile, he receives what he thinks might be a cry for help from an enslaved migrant worker. Wells is frustrated and eventually obsessed with his ability and inability to even make a dent in the wrongness of our world, a system and society which may be irredeemably broken.
THOUGHTS: Well. The rumor on the street is that this book might have 3 different endings. I don’t even know when/where I read that? discovered that? am assuming such? If I wasn’t “clued-in”, I would have just stumbled upon this book and… enjoyed it. Going on with the rest of my life not knowing that some found the book exasperating and abrupt. Am I imagining this?! gr doesn’t mention.
I am OK with the ending. . . . SPOILER! I have, in the past, written a separate page to ‘hide’ spoilerish thoughts. Sometimes I have change font color to write which requires the reader to hover/highlight the words to make visible. Yes, let’s do that:
In my ending, our MC manages to rescue 11 women held captive in the wilds of New Mexico and gets them safely to the Mexican cop across the border. The end.
I like Everett’s writing. His characters always seem dare-I-say boring, and yet, appealing? The writing has strength. I like his sentences, his observations, how he ‘puts things’.
On the other hand, I was annoyed at all the Spanish I don’t know, all the German I didn’t know, all the Latin tossed in. Definitely should have eBook’d this one so I didn’t have to fumble-define and translate so much. (I have serious issues with the clumsiness of the translate app I use. Whatever)
RATING: Four slices of pie. I was waiting for the pie reference — there happen to be “scenes in a diner” so OF COURSE it had to have a pie reference! We just don’t know what kind of pie…
“When they were gone, DeLois came to my table with a free piece of pie, slid it in front of me.”