Search This Blog

Monday 11 February 2019

House of Beauty by Melba Escobar

I couldn't finish this soon enough. You're probably thinking, wow, is it that good?

Well... I couldn't finish it soon enough because I desperately wanted to move on to a more enjoyable book. This was monotonous, tedious (long, long, long paragraphs), unstructured and probably one of the worst cases of head-hopping I've come across: practically mid-sentence. The story was meant to be told from different POVs, but it was badly executed.

What is it about? I couldn't tell you, really. There were: a murder, rape, lots of waxing, massaging, eye-lashing tinting, Botoxing, bitching, funerals and weddings. Who was it about, mainly? I don't know. Maybe it was Karen, the single mother working in a beauty salon, but moonlighting as a prostitute. Or was it the part-time narrator, Claire, a lonely, middle-aged, frustrated pschyo-analyst? Or was it the mother of the murder victim, seeking justice for her murdered daughter?

This was set in Colombia…not a place you want to put on your bucket list. The story flitted about randomly, and I spent most of the time thinking: Who are you? What's happening now? The dialogue was starchy and stiff, and there wasn't a single character I liked or cared enough about to get to know, probably because the characters didn't care for each other and actually, were pretty snotty to each other, too. And if they did manage to throw in a reasonably affectionate term of address, all they could come up with was 'gorgeous'. Which was totally incongruous most of the time.

A translated book never bodes well, in my view: the text never flows as well as the original…there were some rather clunky phrasing and word choices. A book I regret wasting my reading time on.

No comments:

Post a Comment