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By Nell Zink
Dorothy, A Publishing Project
Reviewed by Jason Pettus
Ultimately I agree with what fans of Nell Zink's The Wallcreeper has to say -- she has a remarkable ability to write in this wonderfully rich and poetic style, yet to keep the story itself funny and relatable, kind of like what you see in the best pieces in The Paris Review and The New Yorker. No, the problem with this book is that the terrible husband at the center of our tale is just so completely and ridiculously evil, with every single action he takes and every single word that comes out of his mouth, that he quickly starts coming across like a cartoon instead of an actual complex human being; and this is a big problem for a novel that's otherwise written in a realistic style, and that wants us to care about these characters in the same way we might care about an actual dysfunctional American couple stuck in a Swiss city with few friends and big culture barriers. It's what's prompted me to give the book an only so-so score today, despite the fact that it really is written very beautifully, and it's important to keep all this in mind when picking it up yourself.
Out of 10: 8.4