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Misconception: A Novel by Ryan Boudinot

Misconception: A Novel

by Ryan Boudinot

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492362,503 (3.36)1
Cedar Rivers has come to upstate New York, to help Kat Daniels, by vetting her memoir, an account of the summer they were sweethearts.



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Boudinot's panache carried me away, just as the latest black clouds and rambling thunder swept over the house. The storms departed with less than expected rain and I turned the final page. Reviewing one's progress is essential here. It struggles along the terrain of Sense of An Ending but with the last sentences being but another pomo contortion of the kaleidoscope. The leap between this and Blueprints of the Afterlife is far wider than even between The Bends and OK Computer. There is much to ponder in that progression. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Misconception has likeable protagonists in childhood sweethearts Cedar and Kat, a good juvenile sense of humor, a somewhat original structure (oscillating between the characters' summer romance in their early teens to their awkward reunion in their mid-thirties), and a compelling sense that the plot is building to some mysterious revelation or insight into the human condition. I also found myself driven to finish the book quickly, and this page-turning quotient alone sets this story apart from the many plodding books I run across.

There is a bleakness to its portrayal of relationships, in the vein of Raymond Carver, but the author's comic voice offsets the darkness and injects a sense of optimism. The somewhat abrupt and ambiguous ending, while not for everyone, worked well for me, as your own sense of optimism/pessimism allows you to fill in the blank.

But finishing the story, I felt somewhat unfulfilled. The revelation of the truth behind Kat's conception and the circumstances that drove Cedar and Kat apart for two decades could have been heavy enough fuel to power a full-blown novel, but the author's decision not to elaborate on Cedar's and Kat's interactions after their reunion left the book resembling more of a novella in plot complexity and character development. As Ryan Boudinot becomes more comfortable with the novel form, I believe his talent as a writer will allow him to accomplish great things. ( )
  KevinJoseph | Jul 28, 2009 |
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