Friday, August 26, 2016

Aberration of Starlight - Gilbert Sorentino

This was a difficult book to read, I would have enjoyed it more if I had read the reviews ahead of time.  It's the story of four people, a young boy, Billy; his mother Marie; her father John and a travelling salesman Tom Thebus.  They are visiting the Jersey shore for the summer, staying in a boarding house.  Their experience of the same events is told from each of their points of view, using different narrative styles--dialogue question and answer, internal reflection, letter writing.

It's a clever way of telling a story but  I didn't realize it was the *same* story until the third time it was told by a different person. I was confused with the timeframes and further distracted by the different writing styles.  The book makes an interesting commentary on how we each experience reality and how our individual pasts color those perceptions.

There was really no end to the story, though it did progress from the youngest person's view (Billy's) through to the oldest (his grandfather, John).  I'd recommend it as an example of different writing technique but it's not a pleasurable read.

Published: 1980  Read: August 2016  Genre: Fiction

ISBN: 1-56478-439-8

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