NaBloPoMo: Daniel Handler’s Adverbs

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Stephen King was right: ADVERBS are not your best friend.

This book pisses me off.

For one thing, it announces that it is a novel, but it is not. Nnnnnnnnnnope.

I finish chapter one with the expectation that chapter two would be a detailing of what happens to the characters introduced in the first, which, if I may add, was not the best story to lead with because it was just too weird to wrap my head around. Chapter two, as I soon found out, was COMPLETELY unrelated to the first. At that point I remember thinking that this could be like Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love, which starts out with three seemingly unrelated stories but which turn out to be crucial and relevant to each other. Alas, Adverbs once again shattered my expectations when I had moved on to the fourth chapter and found that all chapters I had by that time read were completely unrelated to each other save for some names that apparently recurred.

I honestly didn’t notice it until I gave up nearly halfway through and just went online to find out what the deal was with this novel.

Turns out that the “novel” is more like a collection of 17 short stories that apparently are SOMEHOW connected to each other. Also, that the names are recurring and that the characters may or may not be the same character mentioned in a different short story.



Is it worth your time?

Prrrrrooooooooooobably not.

Don’t get me wrong. There were a few lines there that got to me and made me think, but I found myself grunting in frustration at the lack of development in each story or the absolute mundaneness and triviality of everything. NOTHING was happening.

It’s like he sat down one time and looked outside his window and merely recorded what his neighbors were doing. Or what people in a diner were doing. And then he threw in some Lemony Snicket-ish magical-ish weird things like the search for a Snow Queen in San Francisco. And he says this book is about LOVE?

This book is about patience. About how far it can stretch yours.



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