I'm surprised to see how many people here had the exact same reaction I did. They start reading, they find a few bits that seem quite gripping and well-written, they lose momentum, and they stop. Some hypotheses:
- None of us are smart enough to get the point.
- There is a clear point, but you have to reach the end to discover what it is, and we didn't have the requisite fortitude. (Also, it must be like The Mousetrap
: readers who find out are sworn not to reveal it).
- The point is that life feels this way if you're a certain kind of person, i.e. interesting in places but ultimately pretty meaningless.
- The book just isn't very good.
Now that I write it down, I do feel vaguely interested in discovering which of the above guesses is closest to the truth. But not interested enough to open it again.
When I try to imagine Untitled
, the spectacularly unsuccessful novel that Richard writes in Martin Amis's The Information
, I must admit that the first thing I think of is Underworld
. At least DeLillo's book doesn't cause nose-bleeds, sinus headaches or inexplicable drowsiness. Okay, maybe the last one.