Monday, August 15, 2022

DNF Thoughts: Harlem Shuffle, by Colson Whitehead

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead book cover and review
Do you ever push through a book because you think you are supposed to like it? That was my experience with Harlem Shuffle.

Harlem Shuffle is entertainingly written and easy to read. Part of the problem is that I started this book a year ago and read about half of it and quit. I decided it was a "right book, wrong time" issue. I really wanted to know what happened to Carney. I recently returned from a relaxing camping trip, where I decided I could easily power through the remainder of the book. Nope. After reading another 10%, I called it quits for good.

For one thing, it had been too long and I no longer remembered why I wanted to know what happened to Carney. I've been looking for an adjective to describe the wonderful prose, and I've come up with "meandering." No matter how good the writing, I just couldn't stand the pace. The minute details of every situation and character. The backstories, etc.

I really liked Nickel Boys. That's why I was supposed to like Harlem Shuffle. But this just wasn't the book for me.

Published by Doubleday, September 2021
eARC obtained from NetGalley
188/336  pages

Rating: DNF

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  1. It was definitely NOT a favorite at book club. I thought it was fine, certainly the writing was good, but the characters either weren't fully developed, were stereotypes, or, as in the case of Carney, didn't have the growth needed for us to be sympathetic. Here is my review of it, if you want to see more of my thoughts: Harlem Shuffle review

  2. I haven't read this one (yet?) but enjoyed his Nickel Boys. I hope you're doing well. I'm glad you had a wonderful camping trip!

  3. I was interested in reading this but not sure now after reading your thoughts. Maybe I'll get an audio of it and give it a try. I used to go camping all the time and loved it. I'm thinking about asking a few friends to take a camping trip. I bet we all could use the relaxation.


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