Monday, February 22, 2010

Book Review: Bridge of Sighs

I am sooo happy to finally be writing a review for Richard Russo's Bridge of Sighs. I'm happy because, well, I'm finished with the book. After nearly 3 weeks, it's been returned to the library. Phew.

I almost gave up on it. The first 10 days or so, I could only manage reading a couple of pages each night before I fell asleep. So the question is: was I falling asleep because the book wasn't captivating, or was I falling asleep because I was sleepy? I suspect it was a lethal combination. But somehow I stuck with it. I just couldn't quite admit book defeat.

So the next question is: am I glad that I spent nearly 3 weeks reading this book? I'd have to say: no. I am not happy to have spent 3 weeks on any book (except for The Count of Monte Cristo-- that deserved three weeks). But I guess I'm kinda glad I finished Bridge of Sighs. It was interesting. The characters are memorable. As tempted as I was to give up, I bigger part of me (slightly bigger) wanted to find out what happened in the end. Russo gave just barely enough bait to keep me from falling off his hook. Barely.

The problem is that the book was too…much. There was too much going on with too many characters at too many time periods. I was always thinking, "Huh? Wait, whose POV is this now? Where are we? Huh?" There is Lucy/Lou, the nervous, awkward boy/man; Sarah, his wife; and Bobby/Noonan, the renegade/painter. And about a zillion other key characters. Too much happened. Nothing happened. And yet, I stuck with it.

In fact, my review is now reminding me of the book. I'm trying to say something, but I'm falling into a trance. Repeating myself. Don't read it. Unless, of course, you have to find out why I can't write a proper review about this odd but somehow intriguing book.

Other Reviews of Bridge of Sighs
Caribous Mom
I Read, I Knit, I Am


wisteria said...

I admire your tenacity and spirit to finish. Thanks for the caveat. I have this on the shelf, but I guess it will stay there unless I run out of books. That is clearly never going to happen. LOL

Amy said...

Too much happened. Nothing happened. ....

Seriously, you summed it up well.

I kind of enjoyed this book, but I did get annoyed with it. It was easy to put down. I really was bothered by the 'hidden' relationship that went through it, and was simultaneously annoyed at Lucy for his ignorance and then sympathetic to his naivete.

I have Empire Falls by Russo on the TBR shelf but after BOS it's going to likely wait awhile. There's too much great stuff out there!

オテモヤン said...


Wendy said...

I think you really have to be in the mood to read a Russo book! Thanks for the link to my review :)g