Rev: Innocents and Others


book review: Innocents and Others, by Dana Spiotta

felt a bit rigid, i guess is the word. formulaic in places. quotations consistently use “I am doing” “I will go” patterns. “backstory” feels often a formality for reaching a goal, particularly for jelly.

and meadow feels an attempted ablution for the author. one of those “self-aware meta-characters that’s really the author being self-aware and meta through another layer of indirection”. maybe carrie a bit too, though she’s less a character than a foil. not sure if this is a bad thing, really; definitely happens a lot elsewhere. just like sitting in on someone else’s therapy session, is all.

fairly interesting overall. some nice little details here and there; the waterside filming / dunking bit stuck in my head. something interesting framed with “bleh, i’m fat and 14… )=”.

the interleaved bits of film don’t really work, though. s’fine in something like The Dreamers because also film and uses only very small snippets to contrast or explain without words. here, though, they read like vague synopses summarised from wikipedia, particularly jarring and painful when you’ve seen the film being referenced.

so yeh, worth taking a look, but probably won’t be a lasting obsession