Sunday, February 10, 2013

Review: The Ticking Is the Bomb by Nick Flynn

This book was a LibraryThing Early Reviewer book. And, I'm sorry to say, I didn't really care for it. It took me over a month to finish. Part of this was my lack of reading time lately (teaching and physical therapy during the week leave me with little time to do anything else, which makes me have to catch up on the weekends, which used to be my reading time). But part of it was that I was just not motivated to get back to the book once I put it down.

This book is a memoir. It deals with Flynn's preoccupation with the torture of the detainees in Abu Ghraib - his research into the acts and his feelings about what the use of torture means for us as Americans. The darkness of this storyline is juxtaposed with yet more darkness - Flynn's recollections of his mother, who committed suicide very young, and his homeless, alcoholic father - espcially in light of his own impending fatherhood. The book is very sad, and I think that is a large part of what I didn't like about it. The writing is also somewhat navel-gazing and pretentious for my taste. But one woman's pretentiousness is another's beautifully stunning prose, so definitely judge for yourself. Two out of five Whatevers. Not really my thing, but others' tastes may vary.