Book Review: The Keep

I’ve been shopping so much lately – in Amsterdam and here in Copenhagen – that all my blogging’s been about my new treasures. This means that I’m behind with my book reviews. But now my inner bookworm is back, ready to speak her mind! Here’s a review of a book I finished just before going to Amsterdam – enjoy!

Book review the keep

Title: The Keep
Author: Jennifer Egan
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 3:35)
Format: Paperback, 242 pages
First line: The castle was falling apart, but at 2 a.m. under a useless moon, Danny couldn’t see this.

This book seemed to have it all: a troubled protagonist ashamed of his past, a man who may – or may not – be seeking revenge, flashbacks to the troubles of adolescence, a castle, a crazy old lady, a mystery, a torture chamber (and I’m not talking about the kind you see in Fifty Shades of Grey), a mass-murder attempt and an actual murder. But I just didn’t care. Something was missing, the something that makes you want to keep reading long into the night, the something that makes you think about the characters when you’re not reading, the something that makes the book stay with you long after you’ve finished it.

The writing annoyed me. Jennifer Egan tried to be creative, I’ll give her that. She just overdid it. She toyed with the concept of a story within a story and kept reminding us that this was just a story being told by a narrator. It wasn’t elegantly done, like Paul Auster or John Fowles would have done it.

There was one part of the book that I really liked, and that was the crazy old lady (aka the baroness). She was fun. I wanna be like her when I get old. And we have one thing in common: from the bottom of our fashion-hearts, we despise men in shorts:

You would never see a European man in shorts – never!
A man’s legs out in the open like that, it’s …
it’s miserably low-class. (page 82).

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