John Dos Passos - Manhattan Transfer

It's rare that I find a novel both good and bad at the same time, but this is an example.
What's brilliant is its manic style, mixing beautiful poetic imagery with a relentless portrayal of New York as a large factory which processes people. Also, the 1925 novel hardly has a story to speak of, which is fine because so does real life.
What's bad is the characters. We follow various people as they bungee-jump from abject poverty to decent living, or vice versa. But their personalities are so nondescript that I sometimes found myself wondering who was who again.
Manhattan Transfer

Posted by cronopio at 02:03 AM, March 07, 2003