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Read ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub È Naoise Dolan

Exciting Times

Exciting Times Review ¸ 109 Read ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub È Naoise Dolan Hing than an absentee roommate so when Julian announces that he’s returning to Hong Kong she faces a fork in the road Should she return to the easy compatibility of her life with Julian or take a leap into the unknown with EdithPolitically alert heartbreakingly raw and dryly funny Exciting Times is thrillingly attuned to the great freedoms and greater uncertainties of modern love In stylish uncluttered prose Naoise Dolan dissects the personal and financial transactions that make up a life and announces herself as a singular new voic. 25 rounded downI think my reaction to this debut novel is both a uestion of being the wrong audience it s not you it s me in other words and also being the wrong book at the wrong time The first is because it s a book about and FOR millennials and Ava the narrator being a 22 year old girl and myself a male 3 times that meant I had almost nothing in common with her Not only couldn t I relate to any of her problems issues would be a apt appellation since she is one of the whiniest and neediest protagonists I ve ever encountered but she is so disagreeable and unlikeable that if I were introduced to her at a social gathering within five minutes I d be itching to find ANY excuse to depart her company That s not a great position to be in when reading about anyone for 256 LONG pagesSecondly with the glare of the increasing tensions about racialeconomic injustice in the US an unconsciously privileged white girl totally clueless as to such she has a rich friend who provides her luxury accommodations for free yet she whines about her perfectly respectable job teaching English at a Hong Kong school just seemed extremely grating to me right now I just couldn t force myself to care a whit about her obsessions as to whether Julian the man she doesn t even care about really loves her or not nor whether she will mess up yet again a seemingly promising relationship with the forthcoming Edith who deserves much better none of her problems are earth shatteringly important to anyone but Ava That said Dolan definitely has writing abilities even remarkable when one considers she is on the autism spectrum and perhaps Ava s inabilities to connect and lack of self awareness are reflective of the author s own issues And though I wouldn t say there is much in the way of the razor sharp wit that seems to be a go to phrase in reviews for this several lines are indeed clever and warrant a chuckle Finally while I can understand all the comparisons to Rooney and Moshfegh I think it s a lazyfacile comparison and ultimately does the book a disserviceHowever my sincere thanks to Netgalley and to Harper Collins for an ARC in exchange for this perhaps too honest review

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Exciting Times Review ¸ 109 Read ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub È Naoise Dolan An intimate bracingly intelligent debut novel about a millennial Irish expat who becomes entangled in a love triangle with a male banker and a female lawyerAva moved to Hong Kong to find happiness but so far it isn’t working out Since she left Dublin she’s been spending her days teaching English to rich children she’s been assigned the grammar classes because she lacks warmth and her nights avoiding petulant roommates in her cramped apartmentWhen Ava befriends Julian a witty British banker he offers a shortcut into a lavish life. I can see why Sally Rooney is endorsing this Debut novelist Naoise Dolan tells the story of 22 year old Ava who just moved from Ireland to Hongkong trying to figure out what to do with her life She holds a poorly paid job as an English teacher and befriends Julian a rich English banker six years her senior Lonely and broke Ava moves in with him Julian pays for pretty much everything and they start having sex But when Julian is sent to work in London for a few months Ava falls for Edith a young lawyer It s uestionable whether Dolan really writes about a love triangle as the blurb states The dynamic is complex with Ava first obsessing over Julian although he makes it very clear that he doesn t love her and later entering a relationship with 22 year old Edith full name Edith Zhang Mei Ling in which they both love each other Dolan mainly explores ambiguous emotional states and that s what makes the novel so intriguing While none of the characters are particularly likeable all of them are interesting and somehow relatable It is masterful how Dolan plays with the reader s perceptions by using flashbacks that shed a new light on the invidual characters behaviors and decisions thus uestioning the fairness of the judgement one might initially pass On top of that it gradually becomes clear that Ava is an unreliable narrator and that her descriptions might be accurate from her point of view but that others strongly disagree Dolan adds layers by contrasting aspects of culture and class Ava ponders her own Irish identity Julian s Englishness and the situation in Hongkong where Edith was born often referring to political issues like same sex marriage abortion colonialism money and attitudes towards class All characters interact with expats from all over the world drawing in even cultural perspectives As Ava teaches English language itself and what is says about the speaker s education class and nationality plus what kind of associations it evokes also plays an important role in the text As Ava Julian and Edith try to navigate the impositions life has in store for them all of them actively tackle some challenges and willingly remain adrift in other fields the variety of options open to those characters are satirized in Ava s penchant for thoughts and descriptions in multiple choice presenting the reader with possibility a b and sometimes even c These characters are messy and faulty and especially the relationship between Ava and Julian is rather toxic Julian to Ava To be clear Ava we re both dead behind the eyes at least I can pay rent Ava about Julian He doesn t want anyone to like him just for him He wouldn t know what to do with the information but not free of real affection The novel works with many ironic laconic deadpan remarks We agreed it was an exciting time to be alive in this Dolan resembles German writer Heinz Strunk who also knows how to say one thing while at the same time conveying something completely different Many of Ava s sentences might be clever but there is often a sadness to them rooted in the impulse to hide a feeling of emptiness or disorientation I really enjoyed the recognizable edgy tone of the text The highly undercomplex politics are sometimes a little annoying though and every German will find the mention of Martin Schulz hilarious although it s most likely not intended to be funny This novel already caused a stir way before its publication when it was the hot item in a seven way bidding war you can read about it in the Independent or The Bookseller eg My guess is that there will be a lot of comparisons to Sally Rooney s work and they do make sense There is a millennial sensibility to it and some readers will find that annoying just as in the case of Rooney But these two Dubliners won t mind as their books will sell copies and scoop up awards

Read ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub È Naoise Dolan

Exciting Times Review ¸ 109 Read ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub È Naoise Dolan Her meager salary could never allow Ignoring her feminist leanings and her better instincts Ava finds herself moving into Julian’s apartment letting him buy her clothes and eventually striking up a sexual relationship with him When Julian’s job takes him back to London she stays put unsure where their relationship standsEnter Edith A Hong Kong–born lawyer striking and ambitious Edith takes Ava to the theater and leaves her tulips in the hallway Ava wants to be her and wants her Ava has been carefully pretending that Julian is not. Naoise Dolan has been trying to distinguish herself from Sally Rooney The problem is Exciting Times is essentially a ueer novel in the style of Rooney The prose is spare and frustrating and the book itself kind of makes me just want to shrug and say So I m starting to hate the term millennial fiction Because what this term actually represents is what generations behind ours consider to be the classic millennial casual sex privilege nihilism pretentiousness rather than the ever looming paranoia of losing your job with the heaviness of debt and a collapsing globe following you around I think what s clear here is I hate this kindof book one that will naturally be heaped with praise despite deserving very little of it I really didn t like this book I thought it was pretentious and try hard right from the get go butI think I should have guessed that when I picked it up But people will love it and hail it as revolutionary and that just makes me angryIf you liked Sally Rooney and pretentious literary fiction you ll love this one But it s not for me

  • Hardcover
  • 243
  • Exciting Times
  • Naoise Dolan
  • en
  • 17 April 2017
  • 9780062968746