On Andrew Sean Greer’s latest, and recommendations generally

For me, one of the pleasures of reading a good book is trying to figure out afterward which of my friends to recommend it to.

One thing’s for sure: I won’t be pressing my copy of Andrew Sean Greer’s The Story of a Marriage on Jessa. But maybe Chris, maybe Emma? It’s so hard to decide; if you steer people wrong too many times, they start ignoring the books you give them. OGIC and Mark will pick this one up on their own. So I think I’ll point to Marla.

Greer’s The Confessions of Max Tivoli and this latest book — like Ford Maddox Ford’s The Good Soldier, Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love, and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History — are contemplative first-person narratives, structured so as to withhold and to manipulate, and I can intuitively understand how a reader might find the contrivances unconvincing and therefore empty. (For a mixed take, see John Updike’s review.) But Reader, I am not that reader.

I’d like to say more, but work calls, so I defer to the author. Greer recently appeared at Google to discuss The Story of a Marriage.


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