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Knock Knock by Suzanne McNear
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Knock Knock (edition 2012)

by Suzanne McNear

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2113495,208 (3.25)1
Member:psychomamma
Title:Knock Knock
Authors:Suzanne McNear
Info:The Permanent Press (2012), Hardcover, 200 pages
Collections:Untitled collection
Rating:***1/2
Tags:early reviewers

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Knock Knock by Suzanne McNear

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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
One of those books that no matter how many times I picked it up, I couldn't get into to. I only manged to get about half way before I gave up, for now at least. Not to say that it is a bad story, but something about it just didn't pique my interest. Maybe one of these days I'll be able to pick it up again and get sucked in. ( )
  bleached | Jan 13, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I found this book to be confusing at first-a memoir about the author presumably but with a different name and written in the third person. March, the main character, lives a very emotional life told in a poetic, almost flat way. This is a unique book-not totally my taste but I did appreciate the writing and the story.
  Bookbets50 | May 11, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I really didn't care for this book. It took me a few weeks of picking it up and putting it back down to actually get through the first few pages. It seemed like it was overly-stylized and wordy. Every time it felt like it was going in one direction and getting to the point, it veered off another way and lost me again.
  OracleOfCrows | Mar 15, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Knock Knock by Suzanne McNear is fantastic. The narrative is a bit stream of consciousness, although it is a third person narrator, not first person. The book follows March Rivers through her life, from childhood to old age, concentrating a lot on her emotional responses to events. So much of what March feels is relatable.

The writing style is unique and provocative. As lyrical as poetry. Again, part of the point of the book (in my opinion) was to focus on March's emotions, so this style works well. The immediacy is clear and strong.

I know not everyone will enjoy this novel, but fans of literary fiction will. ( )
  ReadHanded | Mar 1, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Wow, what a surprisingly delightful book! I received a copy from the publisher and, admittedly it did take me a while to really get into the story. The book is described as a "fictional memoir" but it didn't read like a memoir to me. It was actually quite stylized and reminded me of "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man." It sort of meandered from one moment to the next and the lack of quotation marks was at first difficult to adjust to but later helped the narrative to flow unencumbered.

Once I got into the story I couldn't put it down. It's beautifully written; in fact it's quite lyrical. The story is that of March, who begins life as a rather unhappy soul and descends into a downward spiral of depression and hopelessness. Eventually she slowly begins to come out and find her way in the world.

There did come a point where I worried that the story would go so deep into this woman's troubled mind, that I would somehow lose the empathy I had for her, or perhaps the belief I had that her struggles mirrored many other woman living in the same time period. But the author pulled her out, slowly and realistically, and in the end, while her life wasn't perfect, March indeed had a story that was worth sharing.

I highly recommend this book and hope to convince several of my friends to read it, as the constant literary references and unique story should lead to many interesting discussions. ( )
  agnesmack | Dec 29, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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This fictional memoir establishes Suzanne McNear as a distinctive voice in American literature. Written with the same quirky, ironic sensibility that brought praise for her story collection, Drought, it carries the reader through the upheavals of the sixties and seventies - the impact of Betty Friedan, the assassination of President Kennedy, and the Vietnam War - in a style that is comic and painful and true. It traces March River's journey from before birth, through her early years in a small Midwestern city where she felt always slightly out of step, east to boarding school in Connecticut, and finally to Vassar, where she finally felt at home. Unfortunately, on graduation, and unlike most of her classmates, she has no engagement ring, nor promise of one. "Perhaps you're one of those people who will never marry," her mother , a woman known to rattle her pearls and hit a mean golf ball announces. After various jobs in New York and a love affair that ends abruptly she follows what seems the only practical path; pregnancy, marriage, children and life in Chicago. Seven years later, after many upheavals, there is a divorce and a terrifying breakdown. Her husband's chief occupation was writing mystery novels and opening bottles of Heaven Hill bourbon. Life was marked by the birth of three daughters and economic disaster. This is a portrait of a woman who is fragile, uncertain, sometimes overwhelmed by life, but also fiercely committed to the survival of herself and her daughters. With courage, black humor, and unusual literary friendships, which included Saul Bellow, she eventually becomes an editor at Playboy and finally finds a sense of peace and accomplishments. "Former Playboy fiction editor McNear's memoir recounts the life of an indecisive character, 'March Rivers', so constantly conflicted it seems extraordinary that she ever finds her way. Her self-effacing wit, pointed observations, and purposefully stilted dialogue are instantly relatable and charged with dark humor. Readers will get the sad sense of time passing McNear's directionless life: a relatively long, horrendous marriage; the subsequent divorce; depressions and nervous breakdowns all impenetrable barriers to success. McNear's book is a deeply pleasurable read and a reminder that not everyone worth admiring has a plan." --Publishers Weekly… (more)

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