Written By: Julia Pierpont
Published By: Random House
Read: May 30-June 4, 2015
You can buy this book here.
Jack Shanley is a well-known New York artist, charming and vain, who doesn’t mean to plunge his family into crisis. His wife, Deb, gladly left behind a difficult career as a dancer to raise the two children she adores. In the ensuing years, she has mostly avoided coming face-to-face with the weaknesses of the man she married. But then an anonymously sent package arrives in the mail: a cardboard box containing sheaves of printed emails chronicling Jack’s secret life. The package is addressed to Deb, but it’s delivered into the wrong hands: her children’s.
With this vertiginous opening begins a debut that is by turns funny, wise, and indescribably moving. As the Shanleys spin apart into separate orbits, leaving New York in an attempt to regain their bearings, fifteen-year-old Simon feels the allure of adult freedoms for the first time, while eleven-year-old Kay wanders precariously into a grown-up world she can’t possibly understand. Writing with extraordinary precision, humor, and beauty, Julia Pierpont has crafted a timeless, hugely enjoyable novel about the bonds of family life—their brittleness, and their resilience.
Among the Ten Thousand Things is split into four parts. If I had written this review after I finished part one I would have rated it four, maybe four and a half stars. The first part of it was excellent. It begins with a box of printed chat conversations, between Jack and his mistress, delivered right into the hands of his teenage children. It pulled me into the story immediately. It was fun, fresh and vulgar in a way that added to the writing. I had such high hopes for this book.
The rest of the book was so disappointing. The writing was lacking substance. It was choppy and for lack of a better word, boring. I finished the book feeling as though nothing had really happened. I hated the ending. The last paragraph was just ridiculous. How many people read that last paragraph and thought it was a good way to end the book?
I love almost everything I read. This review has me feeling like a total jerk. I am not saying that you shouldn’t read it. For everybody who hates a book there is somebody that loves it just as much. This book just wasn’t for me. I gave it two stars because I really enjoyed the first part of the book but really I am being generous. I am marking this on my 2015 reading challenge as a book with bad reviews for two reasons;
- I hated it and am writing a terrible review.
- I checked out Goodreads and it is currently sitting at an average rating of 3.27. This may seem respectable but you have to assume that at least some of the ratings are coming from family and friends of the author which means that some of the higher ratings may be biased. When the book releases and more reviews are added I fully expect the average to continue to go down.
2015 Reading Challenge- A Book with Bad Reviews.
Suggested for Fans of: Realistic Fiction
Suggested to Read Next: Everybody Rise