Saturday, August 27, 2011


I finished Sunnyside by Glen David Gold a couple days ago.  I expected to love it, since I loved his first novel, Carter Beats The Devil.  But surprisingly, I didn't like it for the exact opposite reasons that I did like Carter.  Gold made Carter the Great seem like a real human being, fallible but likable and ultimately a good man.  Gold's treatment of his three protagonists in Sunnyside is a little cruel, I thought.  The bad things that happen to them seem like they're done for a larger narrative point being made, rather than being things that could actually happen which in a certain context have additional meaning.  Also, two out of the three men (an army private and Charlie Chaplin) are not good people.  By the end of the book, they have had little or no development into better human beings.  I didn't like spending time with them.

Finishing it was a slog, but I didn't hate it. Lee Duncan, the third protagonist, also an army private, was actually a character I liked.  He was kind of naive, and a little obsessed with fame, but he was interesting and I could care about him.

Oh yeah, and the author's note at the end of the book ends with a reference to climate change.  Climate change references depress me.  I do what I can.  I'm aware it's a problem.  Having it sprung on me in an unexpected place like that got on my nerves.  Maybe the note will make some people more aware, make them change their behavior.  Or maybe not.

Anyway, I'm done with it.  Should you read it?  I've read a lot of good reviews of it, but I'd stay stick with Carter and then wait for his next one.

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