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Review: Dept. of Speculation

July 14, 2015

Dept of Spectulation“The wife” tells her story – of marriage and motherhood – in snippets forming a stream-of consciousness like narrative in Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill.  She starts out deliriously happy, but, like most people has her share of woes through the years so this story is one many can relate to.   And, most people have.  I picked this book up because I read so many great reviews of it but I have to admit, I struggled with the writing style.  Sure, it made for a fast, engrossing read, but I wanted more from it and didn’t feel satisfied at the end.  Don’t go by me, though, The New York Times Book Review called it one of the Top Ten Books of 2014.   If you want to try something different, give Dept. of Speculation a try.

Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.
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27 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2015 6:11 am

    I will try to track this down and thank you for the link as well.

  2. July 14, 2015 6:44 am

    Sorry to hear it was a bit disappointing.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Nice review.

    Elizabeth

  3. Beth F permalink
    July 14, 2015 6:46 am

    Hummm. That stream-of-consciousness style can be difficult

  4. July 14, 2015 7:09 am

    Not sure this is for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. July 14, 2015 7:48 am

    I know so many people who loved this one, but did hear the writing style is different. I’m planning to give it a try at some point!

  6. Diane permalink
    July 14, 2015 8:40 am

    I have a tough time with stream of consciousness, but this was an okay one for me. I think it might have more favorable reviews from a 30-something age group personally.

  7. July 14, 2015 10:04 am

    I agree with you about the writing style. Except that I wasn’t engrossed. It really didn’t do anything for me.

  8. July 14, 2015 10:41 am

    Maybe I’ll listen to the audio of this one since you mention the distracting writing style. I am really intrigued about this one!

  9. July 14, 2015 11:55 am

    I downloaded a sample of this book and hated what I read. I’m not sure why this book was so well received – definitely didn’t seem like a worthwhile read to me.

  10. July 14, 2015 12:45 pm

    It sounds interesting, but your comments on the writing style make me hesitant.

  11. July 14, 2015 1:29 pm

    I love this one but I think being able to relate to the character has a lot to do with it. I remember thinking that the author nailed it and yes, it’s so brief but I was okay with it being brief.

  12. July 14, 2015 2:14 pm

    Sorry you didn’t like it more.

  13. July 14, 2015 2:21 pm

    Sounds like we had a similar reaction, I really wanted to like this a lot more than I did…

  14. Patty permalink
    July 14, 2015 2:26 pm

    I didn’t like this one immensely either!

  15. July 14, 2015 2:51 pm

    I thought I has a copy of this one, but not on my spreadsheet, so maybe not. This happens to me often, a book so many have loved, but not me 😦

  16. July 14, 2015 4:00 pm

    I tend to avoid books with a lot of hype until a few years later. This one I might just avoid altogether as it does not sound promising.

  17. July 14, 2015 5:13 pm

    I’m really glad you didn’t like it; I haven’t wanted to read it!

  18. July 14, 2015 6:50 pm

    So sorry you didn’t like this one. I did struggle with the writing initially but then at one point I couldn’t put it down. But you’re right – it’s not an easy book to get into.

  19. July 15, 2015 12:25 am

    I had this out from the library but had to return it before I could get to it. I admit, I am curious after reading a lot of great reviews, so I will probably put it on hold again!

  20. July 15, 2015 12:00 pm

    As I said in my own review, I liked this one in very small bits. It’s interesting that the publisher is still pushing it, so long after it was released.

  21. bookingmama permalink
    July 15, 2015 3:09 pm

    I’m intrigued by your opinion. I have a feeling that I’d agree with you but still interesting that it’s receiving so many great reviews.

  22. The Cue Card permalink
    July 15, 2015 4:31 pm

    I haven’t read it yet. but too bad it kept you wanting more.

  23. July 15, 2015 11:20 pm

    I’m not a fan of stream-of consciousness like narrative but sometimes it works well.

  24. July 16, 2015 7:30 am

    I have this one but haven’t read it yet.

  25. July 16, 2015 2:21 pm

    I haven’t picked this one up yet because sometimes that type of writing style doesn’t work for me.

  26. July 18, 2015 10:49 pm

    I’m not a big fan of stream-of consciousness so this is probably not for me 🙂

  27. Literary Feline permalink
    July 19, 2015 9:40 pm

    This is one I really want to read–I was warned about the writing style, and hopefully it will be okay for me. I am sorry this one wasn’t better for you.

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