Five Thoughts on Outline by Rachel Cusk

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I'm  not really sure when everyone on bookstagram started posting about Rachel Cusk's trilogy, starting with Outline, but I was quickly intrigued by the idea of a series that was literary. She's quite polarizing, which made my intrigue grow, and now I see why. Here are five take-aways after reading Outline:

1. If you aren't a fan of character-driven books, this isn't for you. There's basically no plot whatsoever, and the structure if semi-episodic. The episodes, though, are just the narrator's (we eventually learn she is Faye) interactions with others.

2. Cusk's syntactical choices are a great representative of the characters and subjects in which they are employed, yet do sometimes irritate me. I love long sentences, but I don't always love really long sentence, ya feel me? She's no Faulkner, rest-assured, but there were a few times I was dying for a period. 

3. There are so many nuggets of wisdom about marriage, life, love, writing, etc... that kept sneaking up on me and knocking my socks off. I am definitely regretting not reading with a pen handy.

4. I have a definite soft spot for books about writers. While it's not necessary about writing, the idea is constantly in the background. 

5. Cusk develops a steady tone that is perfectly complemented by her setting. Athens is stifling hot, bright, but also mellow. And throughout the novel it feels the same way- the narrator is having these languishing conversations with people that simultaneously feel important and never-ending. This book in it's entirety feels like a hot, Mediterranean afternoon with some academics. 

I think I might start doing this for all of the books I read from now on, as opposed to a big pile of word vomit at the end of the month. I'll link back each month to these little reviews, but it might be something I try. Of course this is probably a dumb thing to do now that life is going to be super ridiculously crazy, but we'll see! 

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