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Union Atlantic Roman (2009)

by Adam Haslett(Favorite Author)
3.34 of 5 Votes: 3
3498030000 (ISBN13: 9783498030001)
Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag
review 1: Ghastly. A quick glance at the blurb made me think it would be whimsical (retired teacher and her talking dogs) and I wasn't acquainted with the grandness of the author upon which other reviewers lavish mounds of praise for his short stories and this, his first feature length novel.When I just don't "get it" I am never sure if it is due to my actual choice in favor of lack of sophistication or if in reality, it is a case of the Emperor's New Clothes. These characters are dreadful. The main protanganist is a soulless man, not in search of meaning, only in search of money; without the ability to even feign surprise at its lack of solace. The supporting characters are better, at least you do feel pity on them. First on the frustrations of the elderly teacher, with a painful p... moreast of lost love and a present "Man of La Mancha" situation, tilting against the windmills of Mammon with her sword of historical truth. Or her student who searches for both first love and a father substitue in the villian of the piece. Other minor characters do seem to have conscious struggles but their bit pieces do not replace the vacuousness of the centerpiece of this novel.So reader know thyself and what you enjoy before you begin this tale.
review 2: "You Are Not a Stranger Here" is an incredible short story collection, like a collection of those stories you would put on a mixed tape of stories if you could make a mixed tape of stories. So I didn't realize for a long time that he followed it up with "Union Atlantic," like until recently when I said to myself, "I wonder if Adam Haslett has written anything since 'You Are Not a Stranger Here'." And Ta-da. I found "Union Atlantic," which came out in 2009. So how did this stay under my radar for so long? How is the follow up for something so good overlooked in such a massive way? Well because it isn't too fantastic. Don't get me wrong. The great sentences and writing is still there. The reading is easy and some of it just pops off of the pages, but the story, man. The characters, man. It just seemed as if this is kind of idea he came up with after a few weeks of bingeing on CNN during a bunch of sleepless nights wondering how he was going to follow up the success of his short story collection. He decides on a ripped from the headlines market crashing, insider trading, conversationalist/environmentalist turmoil book. The story goes where you expect it to go. The reveals aren't all too revealing, and in the end, there is no real successful conclusions. The follow up to a success isn't a simple task by any means, and with Haslett's talent, he writes a good novel, but it's not great on the merit of the actual story. It feels a little contrite and lazy and predictable. I'm not going to give up on following Adam Haslett's writing though. There is more great writing coming from him. I just think this one won't be remembered as his best. Even still. I'm glad I read it. It made me remember how great "You Are Not a Stranger Here" is. less
Reviews (see all)
A good little read. Makes interesting a subject in which I'm not likely to find interest. Enjoyable.
I wish it had been about 100 pages longer to develop the plot even more deeply.
Who knew a story about the banking crisis could be so much fun.
Early 21st century greed and deregulation.
A lot of sound & fury signifying...meh
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