Sunday, 1 September 2013

151/111 - Men, Women and Children by Chad Kultgen

I downloaded this yesterday onto my iPad and have been dipping in and out of it pretty regularly since then, and finished it this afternoon. I'm probably not going to write a great deal about this book as my feelings towards it are pretty similar to my feelings for The Lie.

The book follows the lives of a series of characters who are all interconnected - most seem to be parents of eighth grade pupils at a middle school somewhere in the US. The book shifts from different perspectives throughout the school year from character to character, and it largely seems to cover the various sex lives of each person, whether it's a couple who have been married for 20 years or whether it's two of the kids getting to know each other for the first time.

The book ended very suddenly and pretty bleakly, with one of the main characters attempting suicide and another couple of kids having sex for the first time even though they aren't ready for it. I did enjoy it but it didn't blow me away, and I think what I enjoyed most was the sort of fly on the wall element where you're looking into people's lives and areas they don't discuss very much, and knowing that we all think things like this all the time but it's not really acceptable to admit it.

One of the parts I enjoyed most was the existential crisis that Time starts to have. He starts to look at life in perspective with the universe, and dealing with the fact that nothing really matters, and we are all here for a tiny tiny speck of time. Everything we do and say and leave will unravel eventually and only very few of us will be remembered. It's this realisation that leads him to become very detached from his life, and eventually decide that it doesn't matter if he tries to kill himself. I find a lot of comfort in the knowledge that nothing matters. It's very hard to actually live that sometimes, but it's true.

Next: I need to read The Night Circus by Erin Mortgensen as it's been picked for my next book club at the end of the month, and I don't want to have to rush it like I did with The Blind Assassin. I'm also going to have to read The Shining again this month as Doctor Sleep, the sequel, is coming out too. So excited.

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