Random Access Memories

March 6, 2019

So, I just got done reading “There, there” by Tommy Orange. And, well, I didn’t like it.

by @ 7:22 pm. Filed under Entertainment, Media, Reviews

Yes, it’s decently well written, but it’s one long string of anger, bitterness, pain, and damaged people.

Yes, it delves into the lives of modern Native Americans. 
Yes, their lives, and the lives of many other minorities are not always the greatest, nor have they been the greatest. But I don’t understand what makes people think this book is so profound.

Personally? Sure, I care about trying to understand what other people deal with. But there is a limit. As they tell you on airplanes, “Put your own oxygen mask on first before helping someone else with theirs”. I have enough pain in my life. I don’t want anymore. I don’t need to fill my free time with stories of other people’s pain. I’m just not that kind of masochist. And he is trying to cram in so many different kinds of pain that none of them get dealt with deeply, or resolved.

I feel the author is a sadist trying to make his readers suffer. And that the people praising the novel are feeling that suffering as some form of self-flagellation that redeems the sins of their forefathers.

The author also throws reality out the window when talking about 3D printed weapons. Yes, it is possible to print a simple single-shot gun (I wouldn’t use it, WAY too dangerous.) But the author makes it sound like you can print an automatic pistol in 3 hours. (The bad guys in the book get bullets into the event, they could have gotten real guns into the event just as easily as those bullets.)

I get the feeling that the author thought that the idea of a 3D printed gun was interesting enough, or dangerous enough, to force it to conform to what he wanted it to be. Which really makes it seem MUCH more common and deadly than it is.

The characters also seem to all speak with the same kind of voice. They all view their word through the same lens. It’s like he changes the name, and the time, but gives none of the character their own unique personality. This really pops out in the audiobook version where even with different voice actors it’s really hard to figure out what character we are listening to.

The ending also fell short, like an unfinished end of a bridge that just falls off into nothingness. What happens? I guess we will never know… I find myself wondering if he intended to allow the pain to linger by not finishing the book. A last final kick in the teeth to the masochists praising this novel.

The whole thing felt hopeless. And if you want to feel hopeless just read the newspaper.

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