My Brilliant Friend


I am about 5 years behind the literary trends. This is somewhat intentional. I figure if a novel is worth the hype people will be still talking about it in 5 years. This is really not true, there are some terrible novels that people talk about for 20 years. But I want to keep up with the literary trends somewhat, so 5 years seems ok.

In my attempt to read more fiction, I picked up My Brilliant Friend, which in my mind keeps changing to a zombie mashup called My Brilliant Fiend.   Lian started it a few years ago and only made it 80 pages. He wanted more environmental description.

For me, too much description is a deterrent.  There are so many novels that I find overwrought with environmental description I feel claustrophobic.

My Brilliant Friend, meanwhile  is very much about the impressions and perceptions of the main character – (I am not that far in the novel so this may change). I am fine with that. I imagine the classroom, the streets, in my minds eye. The ambiance of the main character’s emotional perception of events creates the milieu for me.   Maybe there are two kinds of readers, ones that like environmental description, and ones that like inner consciousness descriptions.

The conceit of the novel is good, she is recreating the life of her lost friend who disappeared. It is a mystery without being a who done it/police procedural.  Something about the novel reminds me of Confessions of Zeno but that may be all in my head.