Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
What’s it about?
This novel is written in three distinct parts. The first part of the novel is set in a performing arts school in the early 1980's. Mr. Kingsley is the head of the drama department and the students all revolve around him and his "trust exercises". I won't say more about the plot as it would give too much away.
What did it make me think about?
This ambitious novel made me think of another book I read earlier this summer- Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday. Both books are written in three parts. Both novels contain a story within a story and both are very smart novels. However, I enjoyed Asymmetry and I did not enjoy Trust Exercise. I just could not muster much interest in the characters...
Should I read it?
I would say this book is an intellectual trust exercise in itself. It would be a good book to read as a class or in a group as it has so many themes to discuss. However, I did not enjoy reading it at all. So for me- the book was just tedious. That is not to say that it is not a well-written, thought provoking book. All the critics loved it- so maybe you will love it as well. It just missed the mark for me....
"Remember the impossible eventfulness of time, transformation and emotion packed liked gunpowder into the barrel. Remember the dilation and diffusion, the years within days."
"All of us , I think it is fair to say, fixate on things from our past, maybe wanting to change them."
"Because we're none of us alone in this world. We injure each other.
Why should another be injured by choices I made for my Self?
You're choosing for another when you make choices. We overlap. We get tangled. You can't help but hurt."
If you liked this try-
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon
The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
Driftless by David Rhodes
some favorites of the last decade
best of winter 2020
best of summer/fall 2019
best of winter/spring 2019
best of summer/ fall 2018
best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!