“Gave up on this one. Main character just didn't interest me at all.”Ellen M wrote this review Friday, June 7, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Aside from the profoundly racist speech pattern of the Ms. Wang character, this book is absolutely hilarious.
The awful, delightfully delusional narrator enraptured me at once with unwavering gusto. The writing gives a pithy clarity throughout the story and illustrates most profoundly who exactly our hero is. The voice is rife with such maddening humor I imagine lesser talents would have been incapable of lifting the tale above the trap of tiresome idiocy making the ridiculousness unbearable. Levine, though, makes it all work: from the off kilter family members and friends to the interpersonal relationships masterfully navigated by our nearly insane protagonist.
Part satire, part absurd comedy play, I laughed aloud and wished ceaselessly for a rapt audience at my disposal to subject to my own oral rendition of these lively sentences.
This sets a refreshing tone amid the sea of contemporary literature I've been consuming lately. Highly recommend.”
“I'm really torn over this book. On the one hand, I thought the writing was good and really evoked the main character and her emotional state and thought process throughout. But, on the other hand, the story, which felt like it had great potential, was not really enjoyable and was actually quite disturbing, especially with such an unpleasant main character.
Reading the summary on the book cover, I thought that the book's premise was not only interesting but had great potential. Unfortunately, the story strayed away from that quite a bit, not long after it became clear that the main character/narrator was not quite all there. She was not only arrogant and self-focused, but pretty much delusional, and her family and friends didn't seem to quite get that. Even when they realized something was off and tried to help her out, the approach just seemed off and the story became less enjoyable to read. Her obsession with a work of literature wasn't the problem, it was her entire mental state.
The ending was somewhat shocking, though it wasn't entirely unexpected, but I was disappointed with the last few pages. It just sort of let things hang, and then that was that.
Ultimately, I don't feel like I really enjoyed reading this book, though I have to admit that I felt compelled to read it in one day, just to see what happened. I admit I have a hard time reading books with strongly unlikeable or unpleasant characters, and this book reminded me of several others I'd read and disliked for the same reasons. But I do think the author writes really well, so I'd like to read something else by her, with the hope that it might be more enjoyable.”
“This is the story of a girl obsessed with the book by the same name by R.L.Stevenson. She decides to live her life by the four core principles that she gleans from the book. They are: BOLDNESS, RESOLUTION, INDEPENDENCE, HORN-BLOWING. She believes that she is living her life by these maxims but instead a series of calamities ensues. She makes an appalling disaster of her life and everyone's around her by doing this. The classic novel is used in a very modern and inventive way through out the story. Oh, and there is a parrot. ”Rina wrote this review Saturday, January 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Trying to live your life by the tenets of 'Treasure Island'-- well, hilarity ensues...”Carol R wrote this review Saturday, November 24, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Not really what I expected, although very amusing. Funny, when you think you are in the mood for some post-modern stuff, and then it's NOT. Bummer. One thing: HORN-BLOWING. ”andres.richner wrote this review Thursday, November 22, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is the story of one of the most unlikeable narrators I've ever read. Everything this unnamed girl did was selfish, mean, and thoughtless. Her sister tells her "You live like there's no one else in the room." That's true, but it is somehow not enough.
And yet, I wanted to keep reading, to see how things would turn out. Would she repent? Go off the deep end? Would her family disown her (they certainly should have.)
Oddly enough, what I didn't like about the book was it relied too little on Treasure Island. The idea is that this girl becomes obsessed with the book and tries to live her life like how she percieves the book. But I just saw a selfish child, who occasionally quoted Treasure Island. I believe this character behaved exactly like this before that story ever came into her life, so it didn't ring true for me. ”
“I loved this book. Having said that, I think this book is also very taste-specific. And I recommend that you not try to take it too seriously. I think this is a more superficial (not meant in a negative way) novel and people who take it too seriously seem to over-do it. I can understand why people don't like it. Not only is humor very subject to an individual but this book mixes humor with a unlikable character. Considering that, I think it takes a real talent to mix those two. The folks at my book club admitted as much, even though they didn't like it for those two very reasons. The book is conflicting to read since things are funny, but you're reading about an unlikable character that gets worse as you read. There's a real talent here for story telling and consistency. (Also, you might notice that the main charater has no name.) I think the main charatcer is an antisocial personality or a psychopath in the real clinical sense. Anyway, the book is a (almost) difficult balance of humor with a unlikable main charater. It makes it a little hard to digest, but I think that's what I liked. You'll never find another book quite like this.”Rachel W wrote this review Wednesday, August 15, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Recommended by a librarian-reviewer on NPR, IT HAD A FUNNY PREMISE, to live a life based on principles drawn from Treasure Island: boldness , blow your own horn, and two others. It had its light moments but eventually went nowhere. The conclusion, with the protagonists family and friends gathering in an intervention was contrived. ”RMM wrote this review Sunday, June 3, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A twenty-five year old woman reads Treasure Island and decides to pattern her life on the book. This social satire was reviewed as "undeniably insane, hilarious and irreverent". I did not find any hilarity, the protagonist was the most unlikable character I've ever read and the supporting people in this book are just nuts! Do not read this book!”Marilee S wrote this review Thursday, June 28, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No