Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll by Paul Monette
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Not terrible, but not good.
Monette came into his own with the HIV virus, Borrowed Time and Becoming a Man are both masterpieces and introduced a sense of urgency into his work, and a relatabilty that was absent in this work. The same thing happened with Larry Kramer and Andrew Holleran, their writing went past the next level into the next stratosphere with the AIDS crisis.
There are a couple of good points in this book. The characters are comfortable with being gay, they are realistic for the time, and there are occasional moments when you care about them.
There are far more negatives, the writing is dry, no character is likeable, and the book goes beyond the standard "nothing happens" complaint in that so little happens you wonder why the book could possibly have been written. A couple times you think something might happen, but it fizzles out. The big reveal that the whole book is leading up to is talked about for maybe 2 paragraphs, then we're left with a slow, slow, SLOW decline to the end.
I give this 2 stars for the couple of VERY brief flashes of what Monette will one day be, but be warned, you have to look hard, and don't be expecting many of them. Really, don't be expecting anything at all.
View all my reviews