January 19, 2016

Book Review: "In Some Other World, Maybe" by Shari Goldhagen

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In Some Other World, Maybe, by Shari Goldhagen

In Some Other World, Maybe
By Shari Goldhagen
St. Martin's Press
Reviewed by Jason Pettus

After reading it myself now, I have to admit that I'm stumped as to why Shari Goldhagen's new novel In Some Other World, Maybe has been receiving such effusive praise; for while it's not bad at all, it's certainly not a book I would call great, a story that just sort of sits there like a Lifetime movie without making much of an impression at all. A character-based slice-of-life tale, the novel does all kinds of clever things to try to set itself apart, a clear reflection of the author's MFA status -- for one example, she traces back all our twenty-something characters at the beginning of the book to show what they were all doing, scattered across the country, on opening day of a Harry-Potter-type genre franchise movie that came out when they were all teenagers, before then bringing them all together as adults through things like shared college experiences and roommate hookups in the LA struggling-actor community -- but the problem is that she simply never does much with it all, a book with not enough plot to be a great story-based novel and with not interesting enough people to be a great character-based novel. About as slow and inconsequential as contemporary literature even gets, this is getting only a limited recommendation from me today, specifically for those who like genteel story arcs that feel just like the blase day-to-day events of their actual friends' lives.

Out of 10: 8.0

Read even more about In Some Other World, Maybe: Official site | Amazon | GoodReads | LibraryThing | Wikipedia

Filed by Jason Pettus at 7:00 AM, January 19, 2016. Filed under: Literature | Literature:Fiction | Reviews |