In the spirit of my Around the World reading project, I picked up The Discomfort of Evening (2018) the other day to tick The Netherlands off my list of authors.
I had no idea what the book was going to be about, but already a short way into the book I was glad that this was a library loan rather than a book I bought because I just could not see me liking this book very much at all. It was odd and pretty icky right from the start.
I was also not keen on the child narrator pov and some of the pretentiousness of the writing.
For most of the time reading this book, I debated abandoning the book several times because it is really, really awful. I ended up finishing the read only because I at least wanted to have some use from reading it and wanted to use it for the Around the World reading project.
I won’t write a detailed review for this one as I don’t want to revisit even one single part of the book, but let’s just say that I have so many questions about the author and the author’s approach to the book and the kind of conflicts that they decided they wanted to write from the pov of a 10-year-old girl with socialisation and possible mental health issues growing up in a really dysfunctional family that is utterly rubbish at dealing with both bringing up kids and with the death of one of them.
Trigger warnings – just the main ones:
– animal cruelty
– sexualisation of children
…all in graphic detail.
I’m baffled as to how this won the Booker in 2019.
I needed some brain bleach once I finished this book.
I think one of the worst things was that I could not shake the feeling that the author wrote this to deliberately shock the reader.
I get that some people’s lives are awful and it’s just as good to read about that as it is to read happier tales, but this book was just kinda repulsive in how it seemed to be exploiting the stories of the main characters for the sake of “entertainment” and little else.
I have no plans of reading more by the author.