Saturday, April 6, 2013

Book Review - The Antagonist by Lynn Coady

The Antagonist by Lynn Coady

Randomly picked his up from the library as the premise sounded intriguing - "Now pushing forty, he discovers that an old, trusted friend from his college days has published a novel that borrows freely from the traumatic events of Rank’s own life. Outraged by this betrayal and feeling cruelly misrepresented, he bashes out his own version of his story in a barrage of e-mails to the novelist that range from funny to furious to heartbreaking."

It's an epistolary novel, which I usually liked. But the emails in the books didn't sound like emails at all... and I got irritated by the guy writing these emails and I just couldn't continue anymore. I suppose since I don't have much time now with a baby, I just have less patience... not that I didn't abandon books before, but I have gotten even more picky than before.

It did have some good reviews on Goodreads - so it's probably just me.

It got me thinking though - this is a female author writing a male protagonist. So can an author write a novel from an opposite sex protagonist convincingly? Or about experience they haven't experienced (or have done thorough research on?) I am thinking that if I had written a book about motherhood before I had a child, I think I'd have failed badly. The love I have for my child is not something I'd known prior his birth. Granted, all those cliche I hear are true, but you are skeptical about them until you experience it yourself... Or I suppose that's why I am not a writer since I can't put myself in someone else's shoes? 

0 Star - Did Not Finish

Note - The book was borrowed from the library.

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  1. I think it is possible to write from the other perspective but mainly from experience, having brothers or best friends with children etc. There is always something that may not ring true or feel missing but I think it is possible.

    I have never seen or heard of this book before.

    1. I haven't heard of this book before either, just saw it on the new shelf at the library. Sometimes I don't know what I like better - only borrowing books I'd heard about before, or taking a chance on some unknown... there's a thrill with the latter but disappointment is also usually higher.

      I think you are right that it is possible, I suppose it depends on how much research the author has done.