Rating: 0

Jane Smiley

I had a totally different reaction to Moo than many people who recommended it to me did. But from what I read about the book, I think maybe I was in the wrong mood for it because I thought it was, if anything, sort of depressing. While I read the book I could identify parts that were probably supposed to be funny but they felt tragic to me. Or, I began to feel angry that the structure of academia was such to allow those things to happen.

There were also large portions of the book where I couldn't see what was supposed to be funny. The plot line with the three freshmen women seemed to be an exploration of the struggles and bad life choices that young women, on their own for the first time and fairly isolated, sometimes suffer through when they go to college. An interesting theme, but it wasn't explored very deeply so it just felt despairing and tragic to me.

I did like the ending Smiley had for the cafeteria woman.

I think that I would have to give the book a 0. I didn't laugh at this book once, even internally. And while the plot and characters were interesting, because Smiley was going for a comedy she didn't have the depth and detail that I liked in A Thousand Acres.


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