[xrrgroup][xrr label="Characters:" rating="3/6" group="s1" ] [xrr label="Plot:" rating="3/6" group="s1"] [xrr label="Writing:" rating="3.5/6" group="s1"] [xrr label="Just One More Page:" rating="3/6" group="s1"] [xrr label="Overall:" overall=true group="s1" ][/xrrgroup]
I was in my local Waterstones a few weeks before Christmas, and came across Doppler, another of Erlend Loe’s books, but I was swayed to Naïve, Super by one of those little shelf-talkers from the shop’s staff, telling you about a book they like, and that convinced me to go for this one.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t a book I really got along with. Stream-of-consciousness is a style I find difficult at the best of times, so something else about the book needs to hook me in, and that would usually be down to an interesting character, however I really struggled to connect with the narrator of Naïve, Super. He often seemed far younger than the mid-twenties he actually is.
That meant despite it being a small book, reading it was a bit of a slog, at least until at least just before his trip to New York (which given the prominence in the synopsis, actually comes quite late in the book), when things started to pick up and he started to find the perspective he was yearning for.
He wasn’t totally a lost cause; I did enjoy his interactions with his brother, friends and particularly the young child he befriends next-door. He’s obviously a likable guy, it’s just when he’s left to his own devices I felt like giving him a swift kick up the backside…
A disappointing read for me, but for the chap in my local Waterstones and lots of other people, it’s clearly a special book, here’s a few that enjoyed it more than I did:
Troubled by an inability to find any meaning in his life, the 25- year-old narrator of this deceptively simple novel quits university and eventually arrives at his brother’s New York apartment. In a bid to discover what life is all about, he writes lists. He becomes obsessed by time and whether it actually matters.