Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Broom of the System: A Review


Disclaimer:  A copy of this book was provided by Hachette Audio Books for review. The views expressed here are honest and are in no way influenced by the author or the publishers.

Synopsis via Goodreads

An original and exciting debut, set in 1990 Cleveland, where a bewitching heroine who works for a screwed-up publishing firm is caught up with her not-so-hot lover/boss, her grandmother--who has just run away from her nursing home--and her pet cockatiel, whose verbal banter makes him a target for religious fundamentalists.

My Review

I didn’t quite enjoy this one the way I thought I would. From the synopsis above, the story seemed to be something that I would immediately delve into and really love but instead I was surprised at the story that I begun to listen to. The Broom of the System is no typical story. It certainly doesn’t follow the status quo of most fiction novels. While I applaud the innovation of the author and his ability to create something that is both challenging and will be memorable, the Broom of the System was just not my cup of tea.

Firstly, the story started off really slowly and I didn’t get into the meat of the issue until close to the end of the first CD. The story seemed to be going in all sorts of directions and that was due to the fact that there were some chapters that started and ended abruptly and if you were not paying attention (like I was for the most part), you would miss out on understanding the story.

The prose is what made it difficult for me to concentrate on the story. Though it was very interesting, interactive and at times funny, it was for the most part complicated and at a level that just seemed to fly right over my head (maybe that’s an indication that I have a simple mind).  I got the impression that there were a lot of codes and subliminal messages in the story as well as stories within the story that the reader had to pay attention to. Yet I didn’t quite get how all of these things meshed with the plot and I wondered whether the average reader would be able to do the same.

Whether The Broome of the System is an ode to Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Language I am not 100% sure but while listening to the audio book, I did realize that the level of analysis required would simply take away from one being able to really enjoy this story.  In actuality, readers don’t expect such maneuvers when reading for leisure. We want to be able to escape and not get wrapped up in our own brains.

 I wasn’t able to complete the 14 CDS that comprises this audio book and if you think about it, it’s hardly fair for me to rate this book good or bad. However I will say that The Broome of the System was simply just not the book for me.

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