All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: One by Andrew Hutchinson

One 
Andrew Hutchinson
Vintage
2018, 256p
Copy courtesy of Penguin Random House

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Love can rule your life. Change your personality. Your everyday existence can be shaped by the opinion of one person. It seems crazy – so why do we do it? Why do we let the thoughts of someone else govern our decisions and actions?

He had his heart broken by his one true love, and cannot see a way forward in life. Having alienated himself from his family and friends, he works nights and shuns normal society. But not even disrupted sleep and depression can explain the strange behaviours that will suddenly take over him. It all escalates on an unassuming night, when he returns home to find a woman asleep in his driveway. Waiting.

One probes the extremes we go to for love; the extent of emotional influence; the scars we leave on each other. The novel asks, who do you become when you’re driven to obsession?

Fast-paced, immediate and perceptive, One is the highly original second novel from a young Australian writer establishing himself as a major talent.

You know how when you had to read a book for school and then the teacher gave you an essay question or something on it and you’re basically blank? Like did any of this even happen in the book? That’s kind of how I feel about this book.

The narrator works nights in a factory sort of job and seems to have removed himself from much in the way of society. When he finds a woman asleep in his driveway (although, is she?) the night takes a definite strange turn and the narrator finds himself trapped in a sort of Groundhog Day as he returns again and again to that point in his driveway and the woman asleep. How things play out each time is a little different and eventually he figures out what must happen to move the scenario forward. This leads to him and the woman on a road trip and making the narrator confront many aspects of his character and understand and accept the things he has done.

I came very close to DNF’ing this book because it’s just not my sort of thing and reading it felt like so much work. It started off quite promisingly, I was curious about the woman and the situation that unfolds when he agrees to drive her back to her home but then it just got a bit weird and it kept getting weirder but the thing that kept me going was that it wasn’t very long and maybe I’d get a lot of answers at the end and there’d be a lightbulb moment that would make it all worthwhile. You do get some answers but the end just really raised more questions for me and felt quite unsatisfying. But mostly what I didn’t really like about this book was that it made me feel well, distinctly unintelligent. Like I just wasn’t smart enough to get it, to really see clearly what is happening and how it’s profoundly examining the results of an obsession, the way it changes a person’s character except I really didn’t know if it did because the before wasn’t really clear.

Pretty obvious that this just is not my sort of book. The writing itself is good, there were times when I was quite liking bits of it but it was the whole put together that just didn’t really connect with me.

Book #71 of 2018

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