Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A bran-raisin muffin of a classic

Book: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Author: Betty Smith
Published: 1943 (Harper’s)
Pages: 493

I am disappointed.

This book is so stuffed with sentimentalism, I mean the real, always-a-right-and-wrong, all-the-noble-intentions-ever, golden-past-and-brilliant-future, facing-advisory-with-determination-and-thus-always-winning-out-over-it-except-when-tragic-deaths-are-more-dramatic stuff, that as hard as I tried to like a nice thick coming of age in New York story, I didn’t.

It was like buying a giant muffin to eat for dinner and then once you bite into it, realizing what you took for brown sugar is bran and what you thought were chocolate chips are actually raisins. It will give you very roughly the same experience, but it won’t be nearly as sweet going down or remembering it. Am donating.

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