This blog is about my literary adventures in different genres. I like variety in my reading and will read books from most genres but particulary book with some literary merit.
This is the first time I had to rate a book from the 1001 list only one star.
A Gate at the Stairs is entirely senseless and completely pseudo-intelectual - the latter one being something I absolutely despise. Before reading this book I had of course seen that it had received very mixed reviews. But I always try to not think of those when reading a book and be open-minded. Unfortunately it turned out that all those negative reviews were right.
The book tries to address several critical topics such as adoption, racism or attitudes towards Muslims. The porblem was the way these topics are treated: very superficial, in a pseudo-ironic way and never to the end. Whenever one topic could have been brought to a different pahse it is simply dropped.
The main character is also very naive. I always have my problems with this type of character but here it was absolutely unbearable: when Tassie's brother tells her that he is thinking of joining the army (the year is 2002), she isnt't really worried but just wonders whether there is still a war going on in Afghanistan. She also never considers the way Sarah and Edward behave as odd.
I could still have lived with that. But then there was her boyfriend who suddenly turns out to be a would-be terrorist. Tassie is not worried about that but just heart-broken when he's gone.
The discussion of the self-help group were maddening and as pointless as the rest of the book.
And then there was the point that nade me want to throw my copy out of the window: Sarah's story of her former life. How can anybody leave their own child all alone at a rest stop at a freeway? This is completely insane! And how could this fact have slipped the adoption agency? I'm not very familiar with their processes but from what one always hears they do very thorough research on people and the fact that someone had changed their name and had previously been convicted of a crime against a child definitely wouldn't escape their notice!