ImagePerhaps my reading was somewhat impacted by all the praise I’ve heard for this book. It maybe that the book I read right before this was a Hermann Hesse, whose prose always manages to seize my whole being and mesmerize me. Whatever it was, I have to admit The Round House just never grabbed me. 

All the pieces were there and the story was extremely good. The writing was detailed and pleasant at times, though tiring at others. The problem was, I never felt it. I felt like I was looking at the characters through a cloud. I was being told what their emotions were but was never drawn in and made to feel them. I wanted to – as I mentioned, the story underlying the book was very good. But it never happened. Also, tellingly, when took a break from the book I didn’t think about it. The characters never really popped into my head. I never felt the urge to get back and find out more. I dutifully read it and recognized its qualities. But I never felt like staying up just another hour or two to keep reading … 

And so, while it has many qualities of a great book, it just didn’t quite get there for me. I think that I won’t remember it much. It won’t stick with me. It will pass away from memory. The one thing that haunts me about it is that I feel there was something wasted. All the pieces that should have fit together perfectly to form an outstanding, emotionally haunting book – I kind of wish it could be rewritten, put together again to form that whole. If it were a mediocre book in all respects, it wouldn’t bother me so much. It just feels like it should have been the kind of book that you can’t stop thinking about, the kind of book where your heart is exhausted as you experience the emotional pain of the characters, the kind of book where the characters jump out and talk to you … 

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