Monday, June 18, 2012

Review: The Odds: A Love Story

I wanted to like The Odds: A Love Story, the latest slender novel by one of my favorite authors. And yet — Stewart O'Nan killed the entire novel for me with the last line.

The book itsef was not entirely trouble-free. For such a small tome, the build-up was rather lengthy. I liked the detail, but I didn't like the characters. I really disliked Marion, who seemed rather shrewish and unforgiving (considering her own story). I thought Art was a little too groveling, but I suppose that made sense, in context.

While the relationship was the story, the gambling aspect was a mystery through most of the novel. I don't gamble, not even pretend Monte Carlo Night, so I needed more guidance. Art seemed to think he knew what he was doing, but I didn't. Again, not until the end was there any detail on how in the world two very grounded people thought they would succeed at such a, pardon the pun, gamble.

I have adored a couple of his past novels, repeatedly recommending them to every reader I know. I was moved and amazed by the first of his novels I read, The Good Wife. I thoroughly enjoyed Songs for the Missing. I was utterly charmed and transfixed by Last Night at the Lobster.

And yet, I was not so moved by The Odds.

Please, read O'Nan's novels, even this one — and tell me if you think I'm wrong.

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