I didn’t enjoy this novel. There were not enough interesting ideas and the motives and thoughts given to the characters seemed artificial and two-dimensional. Every now and then I give a contemporary writer a chance, but ultimately I then return disappointed to something older and with a bit more weight. Exceptions would have to be James Kelman, J M Coetzee and Tatyana Tolstaya who have modern works I really admire. But, generally, contemporary literary fiction (if such a genre exists) leaves me with the feeling I have just wasted hours of my life. I am happy to be proven wrong as I was with DBC Pierre whose ‘Vernon God Little’ novel was very good.
I went to a panel discussion a couple of weeks ago organised by Dalkey Archive and Sæterbakken was on the panel – he said quite a few interesting things (along with Drago Jančar) so I bought this novel which was on sale there. I may have just started with the wrong book.