This is the second book for our book club.
All I could say is that I have never disliked reading a book so much. I basically forced myself to finish this for the group. If I had my way, I would've tossed this book after the first few chapters.
The storyline is raw, depressing and real -- but that's not really the reason why I disliked it. Sure, Lish did a good job at painting the picture of illegal immigrant Zou Lei and Iraqi vet with PTSD Skinner. They're just two lost souls in New York trying to get by, trying to survive.
I'm just not into Lish's writing style. I found myself scan-reading the pages upon pages of descriptions of the scenery, the kitchen, the sounds. He sets up the tone alright but I felt that it was going too slow at times. The scene that last night when Zou Lei walked for miles...I found myself getting really annoyed because it just didn't seem like the pages would end. Also, would it have killed him to use quotation marks in the dialogue?
And then at the halfway point, suddenly a third main(ish) character, Jimmy, is introduced. But it felt abrupt. Was I even still reading the same storyline?
The book's plot is indeed heartbreaking. Zou Lei and Skinner are the most unlikely couple. Both carry their ten-ton baggage into the relationship and I just wanted someone to give them a break. And even though it would have been nice for the two of them to have gone off skipping along into the sunset, we knew that wasn't going to happen. Admittedly, the ending in my head was worse than what actually happened.
Two stars for this book.