Thursday, January 23, 2014


On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I initially picked this up because of the setting in future America--dystopian in adult fiction! And that turned out to be one of the best aspects of the book, along with the characters. The characters really pull the plot along, although it does get off to a slow start. About 50 pages in things start to pick up and I began to realize that there are sections where the author is more didactic, and then sections focused more on Fan and what's happening to her. While the didactic-seeming sections are thoughtful and sometimes amusing, if you're more into the plot (like I was) you might end up skimming over those sections.

Those sections are where the story offers a lot of insight into social classes and individual identity, but I felt that the structure of the narrative stood in the way of it taking full effect on the reader. Constantly stepping back from the plot to examine society and ask questions about the nature of humanity made me separate the insightful perspective from the plot, kind of lessening the natural insights that the plot had on its own. Other than that, the story is exciting and unassumingly suspenseful, with characters that are utterly fascinating.

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