Monday, May 7, 2012
Author: Stewart O'Nan
Publisher: Viking (Penguin)
Pub. Date: January 19, 2012
I had never read Stewart O'Nan prior to The Odds and thought this was the perfect book to start with because the topic of marriage combined with Niagara Falls (where I'd love to go one day). But I have to say that I didn't care for this story nearly as much as I'd hoped I would.
The Odds told the story of Art and Marion, who in a last ditch effort to save their marriage, take a trip back to where they spent their honeymoon -- Niagara Falls. Alongside this, Art has a plan to play in the casino in an effort to win enough money to prevent their home from foreclosing. The entire book is a rumination over their marriage. Art and Marion each (in their thoughts) allude to the things that have happened to contribute to the downfall of the marriage.
I do, typically, enjoy character studies; but I felt that these characters made no growth or change throughout the book. And from what we do learn about the characters, I just did not like them. It was somewhat depressing, but to me it was in a ridiculous way. I felt like the characters had no insight and were just choosing to make themselves miserable. Because of this, I think, the ending was sort of sudden for me, too, since I felt it didn't go anywhere.
That being said, I did enjoy O'Nan's writing style and think that had the characters been less miserable and stagnant, I might have enjoyed it much more. I will give O'Nan another try (as if he needs me too, he already has so many fans!) but I'm not in a hurry.