Blog Tour Review: Casebook by Mona Simpson

Casebook by Mona SimpsonFrom the acclaimed and award-winning author: a beguiling new novel about an eavesdropping boy working to discover the obscure mysteries of his unraveling family. He uncovers instead what he least wants to know: the workings of his parents’ private lives. And even then he can’t stop snooping.

Miles Adler-Rich, helped by his friend Hector, spies and listens in on his separating parents. Both boys are in thrall to Miles’s unsuspecting mother, Irene, who is “pretty for a mathematician.” They rifle through her dresser drawers and strip-mine her computer diary, finding that all leads pull them straight into her bedroom, and into questions about a stranger from Washington, D.C., who weaves in and out of their lives. Their amateur detective work starts innocently but soon takes them to the far reaches of adult privacy as they acquire knowledge that will affect the family’s well-being, prosperity, and sanity. Once burdened with this powerful information, the boys struggle to deal with the existence of evil, and proceed to concoct hilarious modes of revenge on their villains and eventually, haltingly, learn to offer animal comfort to those harmed and to create an imaginative path to their own salvation.

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TLC Book ToursThis review is part of Mona Simpson’s book tour of Casebook with TLC Book Tours. Find out more about the tour and all the stops here.

You can find more tour information and upcoming events by clicking through to TLC Book Tours.

 

Review

I did not like Casebook. Sometimes, as much as you wish for it not to, this is going to happen. You can’t love, or even like, everything you read. Fortunately there are degrees of not liking a book. Casebook wasn’t what I deem ‘horrible’ (meaning I cringe and am angered by it), it wasn’t even what I deem a ‘regret’ (meaning I wish I could have taken back my precious time reading it), but I still didn’t like it.

Casebook is told in the style of stream-of-consciousness. I find this writing style grating and confusing to follow. I’m a very mentally structured person and I need to have a straight forward format when it comes to entertainment. I’m all about the structure and I appreciate structure more now due to writing my own novels. The thing is, I realise stream-of-consciousness is its own format and has its place in fiction. It just doesn’t gel well with how my brain works. It was difficult following the story of Casebook. I was disoriented for most of it, scenes would chop and change, and I wasn’t able to grasp onto a time period.

It got to a point where I would keep reading and my focus would shut off. Eventually it was akin to speed-reading. I was able to glean the basics, but I didn’t really care about any of the characters by the end. I didn’t really even care about the conclusion and the plot, but there was one thing that got to me. This isn’t your typical hook and drive element of a story I usually find myself curious about. It was the footnotes created by someone else, as if there was a reflection from another character. At first I didn’t realise it, but after some time I realised it was Miles’ friend Hector.

I wanted to know why Hector was leaving these irritating footnotes (I dislike footnotes and annotations in anything I’m reading), which is the main reason I didn’t give up on Casebook. Sounds ridiculous, right? To have your need to keep reading being based on why notes are present, but it worked for me.

I found out the reason for the footnotes in the end, and I have to say everything in the plot did come to a conclusion, but personally I’m grateful to leave the story behind.  To be fair, I’d recommend giving Casebook a try if you enjoy stream-of-consciousness. I may not have enjoyed the story as much as others, but I am aware of the high reviews Casebook has been received.

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