Author: Teju Cole
Goodreads Rating: 3.62
My Rating: 1/5 Stars
I won this book as part of the Goodreads First Reads. I often enter for random books, but I don't even remember entering to read this one. This book was really really far out of my comfort zone, and maybe that is why I couldn't even finish it. I tried to get into the book, but within 12 pages, I just kept getting irritated. My good friend suggested that I give it a chapter, but reading another 9 pages would have been too much for me.
Synopses from Goodreads.com:
Along the streets of Manhattan, a young Nigerian doctor doing his residency wanders aimlessly. The walks meet a need for Julius: they are a release from the tightly regulated mental environment of work, and they give him the opportunity to process his relationships, his recent breakup with his girlfriend, his present, his past.
But it is not only a physical landscape he covers; Julius crisscrosses social territory as well, encountering people from different cultures and classes who will provide insight on his journey—which takes him to Brussels, to the Nigeria of his youth, and into the most unrecognizable facets of his own soul.
Since I have no spoilers or potential for spoilers I felt no need to hide this post behind a jump.
For some people reading a stream of consciousness would be cool, and interesting, and it certainly sounds like it would be but for me that is not it. It would appear that Cole has some very interesting points and ideas as he writes his book, but I couldn't get past the lack of a plot (Really, its just about a guy walking around the city thinking) and the lack of dialogue. I can understand setting the scene, but what I don't understand is how talking about birds and them flying makes sense. I also couldn't get past the lack of quotation marks, I have read books that don't have quotation marks, My Friend Leonard didn't have any, but at least there were line breaks to indicate a change in someone talking, or a description of what was going on within the scene of the dialogue. In Open City, Cole spends half a page on a conversation, but it is one straight paragraph talking about the nurse-maid, the marathon runners and the conversation itself.
That was where I stopped reading. Clearly, I went too far out of my comfort zone with this book. Hopefully someone at the library can get some good use out of this book.