Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Brothers and Sisters by Bebe Moore Campbell (Book Review)

Brothers and SistersBrothers and Sisters by Bebe Moore Campbell
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I don't understand all the praise. This book is awful. Flat, stereotyped characters. Jerky timelines and POV's that switch suddenly and clumsily. I keep having to backtrack to check where we are in time and whose head we're in. How exactly do you smack yourself in the head so hard that it "reverberates in the empty room" (that we've already been told isn't empty) or tremble so hard somebody can't hold on to you?  Take a minute and picture those things, seriously. Hamfisted, overdramatic, contrived. Yes, I get the story, I really do get it, it's about prejudice and power and the moral choices each of us makes, and had the story been told well this could have been a Truly Important Book. Campbell is capable of a good turn of phrase --describing buildings in a depressed part of town as "the color of bathtub rings" was evocative. As it is, it comes off as a sophomoric soap opera. Life is too short for bad writing, but I have to finish this because it's assigned reading for an MCS class. At least I can sell it back after the quarter.

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