February 27, 2014

Book Review: "The Outside World," by Barry Dempster

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The Outside World, by Barry Dempster

The Outside World
By Barry Dempster
Pedlar Press
Reviewed by Jason Pettus

Although I'm usually a big fan of the experimental Pedlar Press (and with reviews of several more books from them coming here soon), I must confess that Barry Dempster's The Outside World is a rare misstep for them, a book I never even ended up finishing because at a certain point I just found it such a chore to continue. Part of a growing trend of genteel coming-of-age stories so inconsequential as to almost not even exist, certainly Dempster hits all the right notes when it comes to this genre, and his actual writing style is just fine as well; but like most of these kinds of stories, there's simply nothing here that's particularly engaging, unique or compelling, with a flatlined plot that is all style and no substance. Although I appreciate a good turn of phrase as much as anyone else, and I'm also much more forgiving of rambling storylines when they're being presented as such, The Outside World is presented as a traditional three-act novel, and as such it's unfortunately lacking.

Out of 10: 7.0

Read even more about The Outside World: Official site | Amazon | GoodReads | LibraryThing | Shelfari | Wikipedia

Filed by Jason Pettus at 7:00 AM, February 27, 2014. Filed under: Literature | Literature:Fiction | Reviews |