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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

Review: We Are Not Ourselves

We Are Not Ourselves - Matthew   Thomas


This is one of those books. You know the type. Highly praised with considerable hype. Epic and beautiful in many ways. Wonderfully rendered, but perhaps not tightly edited. We Are Not Ourselves seems to be many stories in one, and I'm not convinced this approach was in the best interest of the novel. At times, it even felt like other stories I'd read. Here it feels like Brooklyn. Here A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. And here, The Corrections (of Brooklyn?). Perhaps it is a result of feeling too much like so many other stories that We Are Not Ourselves doesn't stand out to me for its own merits. It's a fine story—nothing wrong here at all save perhaps need for a tighter storyline—but it's not one that will stick with me long. In fact, ask me now for a summary of the story and I promise my response will be shorter than this review.