Monday, August 30, 2010

Review: Life Before Man

Life Before Man

Synopsis from Amazon:
Imprisoned by walls of their own construction, here are three people, each in midlife, in midcrisis, forced to make choices--after the rules have changed. Elizabeth, with her controlled sensuality, her suppressed rage, is married to the wrong man. She has just lost her latest lover to suicide. Nate, her gentle, indecisive husband, is planning to leave her for Lesje, a perennial innocent who prefers dinosaurs to men. Hanging over them all is the ghost of Elizabeth's dead lover...and the dizzying threat of three lives careening inevitably toward the same climax.

My review:
Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors.  This is one of her earlier books and is very different from most of her most recent works.  Like most of her books, Life Before Man is focused mainly on the characters and their interactions with each other.  I really didn't like Elizabeth.  I thought she was controlling and annoying.  She has cheated on Nate for most of their marriage, having one lover after another and not hiding it from him.  But the moment he finds a girlfriend, somebody who he genuinely loves, Elizabeth freaks out and wants to get him back.  Nate was also kind of annoying.  He is spineless and would not stand up to his wife.  I did like how the characters were very developed and you get to know them very well, not an easy task in 200 some pages.  Like usual, I love Atwood's writing style and the focus on the characters.   I have to say that this is not one of her best books, and you can definitely tell that she has grown a lot as a writer.

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