Friday, May 12, 2017

SUDDEN DEATH BY ÁLVARO ENRIGUE - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue.


Before I get too far into this review, please note that unfortunately, I could not finish this book.

You know, going into this book I knew it would go one of two ways: I would either be blown away and absolutely adore this book or I would be so confused I would have no idea what was going on. And unfortunately, I think a lot of it is the latter.

The story very, very loosely follows a tennis match between the artist and the poet. I'm not sure if we find out who they are later on because I only made it to the halfway point of this book before DNFing it. There are other elements of the story because you can't really write a 250+ page tennis match (or can you?), mainly things like random definitions in tennis, where the first tennis ball was made, etc. Basically, any fact in history that remotely had to do with tennis was included.

I was prepared for a strange book, so I pushed myself to the halfway mark. But so many times along the way I just kept asking myself, "why am I reading this? And where is the storyline?" Perhaps if I had finished the book I would have a better understanding, but I was just so lost.

I did really like the historical elements of tennis, I thought that was really interesting. I just didn't love how you couldn't tell what was real facts and what was stretched to be about tennis. I think there was great potential with these aspects but they just weren't executed well.

I also thought the narration was a bit weird. Most of the book was told in third person, but there were a couple random moments where it switched to first person and I think it was that author's narration/commentary within the story? I'm still not sure what was going on with that. There were also a couple random emails between the author and the editor of the book just kind of thrown it there, I'm not sure what the point of that was or if it was just a joke.

The book is all over the place, and I guess I can't really fault it for being so because according to some other reviews, I think it is supposed to be a mess, but I just can't figure out why it had to be a mess. Maybe I'm not intelligent enough to see the genius behind this story. I'm okay with that, but I just wish there was a little more clarity.

Another thing I think went right over my head is the supposed humour in this book. I don't know if I'm too dumb to get this 'intellectual humour' but I didn't find anything I read in the first half funny enough to categorize this book as such. Quite possibly I just missed it, but for the amount of people seeing the humour, I find that hard to believe.

Overall, some people might like this book but I am able to admit that I didn't understand it enough to like it.