2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 265 books.

Book Review: Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday

OK, I seem to be on a rough run, review-wise, and it’s starting to wear on me. This is yet another book that I thought sounded so interesting and that turned out to lose me COMPLETELY… I will grant that the book was original – I have not read anything like it. I will grant that Halliday is a strong writer – there were some very lovely (and some equally disturbing) sections in the text that were resonant and poignant and pointed and sharply spot-on. And the cover is stunning, and what drew me to the book even more than the concept. But I can’t grant that this was a success for me, overall, because I never felt like I understood why the three pieces were all in one book…

Asymmetry. I get the concept. But the “new implications for their relationship revealed in an unexpected coda” never found their way to me, I guess, because I finished the book with a gigantic crease in my brow and absolutely no sense as to what I was supposed to have gleaned from flipping through all the preceding pages… The tales were readable on their own. If they’d been billed as separate but somewhat related, I might have bought this as a book of stories set in the same world. But they weren’t billed as such, they were billed as a novel, and a novel has to have some coherence throughout to succeed as a novel for me…

This may be another of those House of Leaves instances where the point is not so much the story as the art and cleverness of it all. (I didn’t get HoL either.) That’s fine, and probably resonates with others mightily. It just does not with me…

My review copy was provided by NetGalley.

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