Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review: "The Diviners" by Rick Moody

It is fitting that just a few weeks ago that I read easily one of the best books I have read in a few years that I read its doppelganger: easily the worst book I’ve read in a similar amount of time. Not once in the 567 of Rick Moody’s The Diviners is there a good sentence or a good idea presented. And not only are the ideas not good, they are unoriginal. I was reminded of the article written almost ten years ago by Dale Peck about rick Moody, where he called him the worst writer of his generation. While I think any title like that is overstated and a victim of it own hyperbole, it does have its basis in fact, and I sympathize with his statement even more so after reading such a book as this, one that has nothing good in it at all, which itself is an accomplishment, albeit an unwarranted one. The book has easily the worst opening scene I have read in a book, at least that I can remember, where Moody goes across the world when the sun is just rising, describing in tepid and tedious detail the lives of people we will not interact with. From there, we are thrust into a derivative story of the entertainment industry and how it whittles down and destroys anything good that enters its hemisphere. From the cabbie with the story idea, to the horn dog lead actor, no one can escape the dull spoon skill of Moody as he strips them of any good literary qualities, leaving any reader constantly reminded of better books that are more interesting and enlightening (such as Infinite Jest and even Gaddis’ The Recognitions) and begging for it to be over. Skip this, avoid it at all costs, there are better books you can spend time with. A book that invariably taints further Moody books, the only good thing about this is that it ended eventually.

Rating: 1/5

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