The final review I wrote of my group’s presentation on “The Ninth Life of Louis Drax.” This is so embarrassing to read now, I can’t believe I wrote it. The book is good and I do recommend it.
April 23, 2007
Readings in Contemporary Fiction
Group Reading Project – Review
The Ninth Life of Louis Drax by Liz Jensen
I was a little apprehensive about this choice for our book review for a couple of reasons. One was Gabriel’s enthusiasm for using this book for our presentation. People have their own specific tastes so I was worried that his and mine wouldn’t mesh and I wouldn’t be able to read the book. Second was the premise of it. A story that takes place in the mind of a boy who is in a coma would seem to be very limited in how it presented the story. Again I thought this would make it hard to read.
I was wrong. The book was very easy to read and I did like it. I can’t say that it was great and original but it was good and I like reading good books. I liked it for two reasons. One it is a sort of a detective novel that encourages readers to find the “guilty” party along with Dr. Dannechet. Secondly, I seem to be drawn to stories of centering around “women in peril.” Maybe this is some sort of character flaw I have that I feel overly sympathetic towards these types of women
and want to help them. I felt sorry for Natalie and most likely would have been drawn in by her and duped like the other men.
The writing is good, not great, the scenes are mostly short and the characters move from place to place so the story doesn’t get bogged down in one spot. Not a lot of prose/description/exposition and lots of dialogue. A contrived story line with a contrived ending. Of course the mother did it. That’s who always seems to do it in these stories nowadays. I thought Natalie’s death in a big ball of fire was well described but kind of a cliche in British literature.
I would tell people that this is a decent book and that I like it, but I wouldn’t strongly recommend because it is simply a book and not a great work of fiction. Most people who read it will like it but their lives aren’t missing anything by them not having read it. Also I wouldn’t recommend this for a class unless an instructor was looking for something that is
quick and short to offset longer more difficult pieces.