Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “Dan Chaon”

Scootsa1000′s #CBR4 Review #28: Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon

I’m just home from almost a month away with the kids, and I’ll be honest.  I know I read a bunch of books while we were away, but I have no idea what happened in any of them.  I’m looking at a list of the books, and I’m seriously drawing a blank.  But I’ll do my best to remember as much as I can…

The book that I have the easiest time piecing together in my mind was Await Your Reply.  I can remember when the book first came out in 2009, and I read all sorts of gushing reviews and made a mental note to pick it up.  And then, almost three years later, I remembered to pick it up.  And I’m not sure if that was a good idea, or if I should have just left it on the shelf.

Await Your Reply tells the story (or, in this case, stories) of three characters, living separate lives, all of whom are having a bit of an identity crises.  Ryan is a college drop-out, and when we first meet him, he and his dad are rushing to the hospital after Ryan has somehow severed his hand.  Miles is a shy, quiet guy who lives in Cleveland, and is obsessed with tracking down his identical twin (and mentally unstable) brother, Hayden, who disappeared years ago.  And Lucy is a girl who has just graduated from high school and is having an affair with her english teacher.  And of course, somehow, all of these stories are going to intertwine and relate to each other.  Usually, the fun with a book like this, is figuring out HOW.

In this case, I didn’t have that much fun with the book.  I felt sorry for these characters for the most part, and for the decisions that they had made that defined them.  (I didn’t feel sorry for Ryan though.  In his case, I felt sorry for his parents back in Iowa.).  The story that I found most interesting was that of Miles and Hayden, and how Miles felt somehow incomplete without knowing where his twin was or how he was doing.  (FYI, if there was ever a movie made of this book, Dallas Roberts should play Miles and Hayden.  I’d watch that.)

Dan Chaon is an extremely talented writer.  I just didn’t really enjoy what he chose to write here.

You can read more of my reviews on my blog.

Jack CBR4 #1 Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon

I’m going to try again. I read well over 52 books last year and reviewed 10. Ugh. This year I will do better!

Await Your Reply is a novel told in short sections about various individuals whose lives eventually intersect. It is one of the rare books written this way where I didn’t have full story lines in which I had no interest. Often times in books with multiple stories I find myself skimming one of the stories to get back to the one that compels me. That’s not the case in this novel, each story line is equally interesting.

The major story lines include Ryan, who we meet first, as he’s rushed to the hospital with his hand in an ice cooler next to him. He and his father have a very complicated relationship, which plays out over the course of the novel tying Ryan up in knots about the nature of family and how you become who you are. It’s a complicated spin on nature versus nurture.

You can read the rest of my review on my blog: Reads for Fun

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