Pages: 77 / 362; 21%
The Reason for the Reaping: From the queen who brought us A Little Life, The People in the Trees is Hanya Yanagihara’s first novel. I had to rent it when I came across it at the library.
As I Lay Summarizing: Abraham Norton Perina “Norton” is a renowned doctor whose reputation has been smashed against the rocks with allegations of sexual abuse (not a spoiler). His good friend Ronald asserts “he’s not that bad. Read his memoir he wrote in jail. You’ll see he actually is totes awesome.” Verdict so far: ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….
The Line That Killed Me: “But time, I’ve come to realize, is not for us to fill in such great, blank slabs: we speak of managing time, but it is the opposite–our lives are filled with busyness because those thin chunks of time are all we can truly master” (8). Death by deep identification.
Best Character: Gregory Smythe
Why [As] You Like It: The nuance and intricacy of Norton’s memoir is inspired. The reader is responsible for sifting through the layers and must constantly reevaluate the reliability of the Norton’s story. Flex those brain muscles, because Norton may, or may not—or may—be phony baloney. Yanagihara assumes the persona of a world-renowned, jail-ridden, and somewhat slimy doctor with ease and depth. Werk.
Why I’m Gone, Girl: Norton is so self-righteous, conceited, and vain it’s almost unbearable. Yanagihara is clearly trying to make a point, but the world according to Norton revolves around Norton with absolutely no apology. Keep your vomit bucket handy, because you may gag from reading his bullshit.
Last Line, Last Chance: “…had few full-time residents. Only the plantations’ overseers–for all of…”
Will I turn the page, or toss it into Mount Doom?
Suffering Norton’s personality is a small price to pay for Yanagihara’s excellent writing. I’m waiting for the humbling smack to the ego with excitement. Turn dat page.