Sunday, August 3, 2008

Babylon Rolling

Quickie Recap: Told from 5 different voices, Boyden explores the dynamics and interpersonal relationships, cultural, racial, sexual, of New Orleans in the year before Katrina hits.

Quickie Review: For all of its glittering potential, I disliked this book from the very first sentence of the very first chapter. Shall I tell you why?
Have you ever read I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe? I have had the unfortunate experience myself, and I hated that book for the same reason that I dislike this one. Tom Wolfe embarrassed himself by writing a black character that he voiced with an enormous amount of insulting cliches. While Boyden doesn't go quite so far, her treatment of "Fearius" is just horrendous. Reading it made me feel incredibly and constantly uncomfortable. It's so bad that at first I hoped it was a parody, that it was some joke that we were sharing. Sadly, it was just awkward and racist and reading it felt like watching someone in black face: just plain wrong.
The other stories were not nearly so distasteful, but every time Fearius came up, I got to the point where I had to skip over entire sections. I cringed my way through this book and for that reason I could not bring myself to even enjoy the bits that were okay.
Quickie Review: Skip it.

1 comment:

Amber said...

I am relieved to know that someone else thought so too!

It made me really uncomfortable like you said and yeah i just didn't even finish it actually.