Monday, December 29
Book Review: Waiting for the Man
Author: Arjun Basu
Pages: EBook 247
Summary: Joe, a 36-year-old advertising copywriter for a slick New York agency, feels disillusioned with his life. He starts dreaming of a mysterious man, seeing him on the street, and hearing his voice. Joe decides to listen to the Man and so he waits on his stoop, day and night, for instructions. A local reporter takes notice, and soon Joe has become a story, a media sensation, the centre of a storm. When the Man tells Joe to “go west,” he does, in search of meaning.
Waiting for the Man is a compelling and visceral story about the struggle to find something more in life, told in two interwoven threads — Joe at the beginning of his journey in Manhattan, and at the end of it as he finds new purpose on a ranch in Montana under the endless sky.
My Rating: 9/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: I found this book to be enchanting at times. It was a fascinating read, and incredibly well written.
There were many aspects to this book that made it such a great read. Observations on how society reacts to fads and how the media influences those fads was one, how the author examined sensationalism. The over the top reactions of the media, and the public on how they react and interact to certain events and situations. I also found it to be fairly philosophical at the times, which include the observations the main character made during his journey.
I enjoyed the jumps between past and present, although I found it to be disruptive at times, overall I think it helped shaped the plot and its characters. I wouldn't say there was a character that stood out for me, but I didn't dislike any of the characters. All were well written and developed, and each added something important, even if it was subtle, to the story.
As I said above, the writing was incredible. It was another book that pulled you in from the first page and kept you reading until the end. Overall, an excellent read. I was shocked to see that the book didn't make the Giller shortlist this year (2014). As it was one of my favourite books from the longlist, and is one of my favourite reads of the year.
Would I recommend it to read: I would. The writing was well done, the story was extraordinary and all around a good read, this is a book that should be read.
What to read next: I can't think of an exact book, but be sure to check out the books on the Giller longlist/shortlist and check out, if any, other books by the author.
Challenges: 100+ Books Challenge, 2014 Category Challenge, 8th Annual Canadian Book Challenge, Ebook Challenge
Note: This is part of my October Reviews