pond, by Claire-Louise Bennett

Wow, twice in one month! This much-lauded debut novel-in-short-stories is described as "sensational," "luxurious," and "brilliant." I found it incredibly boring and opaque. It's really more a prose poem than a novel, and perhaps this is where it falls short for me. Despite a serious love of language, poetry remains inscrutable to me. I want to like it, so very much, but instead I struggle to find it anything other than dull. pond reads like poetry, and so I found it terribly dull. The character Bennett builds throughout the chapters-cum-stories is obviously interesting, but her stream of consciousness is difficult to penetrate. And while I hesitate to rebuke books that have no real plot, they do tend to be, well, boring. When absolutely all the action is internal, you've cut out a whole swathe of the reading population that just won't be able to get into it, myself included. So I will say only that this book is not for me, but will take it on faith that it surely is sensational and luxurious and brilliant for another type of reader.


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