Skip to main content

Adverbs by Daniel Handler

Adverbs is a series of interconnected short stories or vignettes all of which are titled after an adverb.

It becomes pretty clear soon after beginning the novel that love is intended to be the overarching theme. The problems here are the prose and plot devices the author uses to keep his notion of love in the subtext.

For example, many of the stories feature characters with similar names, but it's not often apparent whether these characters are supposed to be the same people or different people with the same names. Similarly, though intentionally done I'm sure, the character dialogue is purposely exaggerated and full of strange connections and phrasing, and hard to follow at times. The use of adverbs themselves is tightly controlled and reserved for specific instances of important characters development.

Now, Adverbs as a complete text may work well for some readers who will enjoy that the characters, pieces, and themes introduced in the novel never come together, paralleling perhaps how love often never culminates or wraps up neatly in our lives.

For me, though, reading the book did not evoke any feelings of pleasure, wonder, or loss that I would expect to feel from reading about love; instead, reading Adverbs was too much like plowing through a graduate school literary experiment, interesting and enlightening at times, for sure, but ultimately unsatisfying.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

2014 IBM Digital Experience Conference

In July, I will be presenting at the 2014 IBM Digital Experience Conference, an event focused on the latest technologies, best practices, and the business benefits of delivering great digital experiences. Below is the description for my session: Session:  BUS-S20 Date/Time:   Monday, July 21, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Successfully Enabling Enterprise Content Management, Cloud, Mobile, and Social Business at Superior Group Superior Group focuses on the agile delivery of people, process and project outsourcing solutions. Our session will detail how this organization accelerated its content management and social business needs by implementing a combination of content management, cloud, mobile, and collaboration solutions. Attend this session and you will have an opportunity to learn from Frank Gullo, Director of Digital and Mobile Strategy at Superior Group and IBM Social Business Insights blog contributor, on how a mid-sized organization transformed its digital capabilities a

The Chaneysville Incident by John Bradley

I read a lot of books, and sometimes even manage to comment about them here. More often that not, I enjoy most of the books I post about. This is probably because (admittedly) I look for books by authors I already know or that I have an inkling -- from word of mouth or reviews -- that I'll enjoy. Still, you never know when you're going to read a book that you really like or that makes others pale in comparison. The Chaneysville Incident is such a novel. I came to read The Chaneysville Incident after asking for suggestions for a big book for my long flights to and from Japan. One of my work colleagues suggested it, and though I'd never heard of it or author John Bradley, I decided to give it a try. I'm really glad I did. On the surface, the novel is a well-honed and affecting story of historian John Washington's attempt to discover what happened to thirteen runaway slaves in Chaneysville, Pennsylvania. The protagonist's efforts to reconstruct the past eleva

Configuring a Wireless HP Photosmart C4380

Updated on 2009-11-16: It's been over a year since I wrote this, and lot of people continue to find this page from Google, which leads me to believe that people are still having problems with their HP Photosmart C4380s. For the record, over a year later the workaround I detailed here is still working for me. If you have something to add that might help others, please feel free to add to the comments. The original post follows below. ##   So, we bought a wireless printer. After some initial back and forth, we settled on a wireless HP Photosmart C4380. I thought we did a fair bit of research before purchasing the product, but apparently not enough, as there were many issues and surprises that we discovered only after we setup the device. I'm posting this to relate the significant difficulties we encountered setting up the printer and post workarounds I've implemented for the benefits of others who might be considering this product or who may have already purchased it