Lost Children Archive — Valeria Luiselli

Sometimes you have to be ready to say goodbye — to a book you’re not enjoying.

The premise (and, indeed, the cover) of this really appealed to me: a family on a journey across America; a relationship ending; confronting the horrors of the US border policy. But I couldn’t get into it.

I just didn’t care enough about the characters and found a lot of the narration of the main character’s failing relationship with her husband boring, rather than sad. Perhaps because it felt like it was very self-consciously trying to be an intellectual novel — there is a lot on “acoustemology” and the recording of sound, and quotation of and reflection on academics and authors that felt a bit too much like hard work.

The more I read, the more evangelical I become that life is too short to read bad books (or, if I’m being more generous, books I don’t enjoy).

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