Review of 'The Snow Queen'

Review of 'The Snow Queen' by Michael Cunningham

 “People are more than you think they are. And they’re less, as well. The trick lies in negotiating your way between the two.”

3/5 Stars

Author: Michael Cunningham
Pages: 272
Price: $13.12
Publisher: Picador

It's November 2004. Barrett Meeks, having lost love yet again, is walking through Central Park when he is inspired to look up at the sky; there he sees a pale, translucent light that seems to regard him in a distinctly godlike way. At the same time, in Brooklyn, Barrett's older brother, Tyler, is struggling to make his way as a musician-and to write a wedding song for Beth, his wife-to-be, who is seriously ill. While Barrett turns unexpectedly to religion, Tyler grows increasingly convinced that only drugs can release his creative powers, and Beth tries to face mortality with as much courage as she can summon.
Michael Cunningham follows the Meeks brothers as each travels down a different path in his search for transcendence, demonstrating a singular understanding of what lies at the core of the human soul.

The book was totally different than I expected it. At the beginning I didn’t like it at all. I always said that I don’t like the book and so on. I thought that I’m still getting to know the characters (at this point there are only two people in the story). Also the author didn’t use much literal speech at the beginning. Instead of this he described everything very exactly. Later there is more literal speech but still as much details as before. Because of this there are some really beautiful scenes which are perfect to imagine. The whole story is very deep and was added with some poetry. I often thought that the author loses the topic and I lost the thread.  Something happens and then a person thinks of something and after 3 pages you are back at the real topic… The characters are really nice: You just need to like Barrett. Sometimes he confused me with the things he says but maybe I don’t get what the meaning of it is. Tyler was nice too but after a while I was a bit pissed of because all the time the topic are the drugs. I liked Andrew a lot. This guy is just cool – Maybe because he is closer to my age than the other characters and so booked up. The whole thing with Beth is a bit predictable but still a great read. What I really liked was that the subtopic – the election of the president - which is addressed from time to time. Everyone is discussing about who is going to be the next president and that America isn’t ready for a black president (Obama) and so on. Because today we know who the president is, reading this was fun. The thing with the strange light was a bit irritating. The adaption to the fairy of Hans-Christian Andersen is okay but only if you know what happens there with the mirror. But except the ice crystal which flies into his eye and makes him to see everything skeptic, there are only small adaptations.

All in one I would recommend this book to everyone who likes drama, tragic and poetry. I don’t think that I’m going to reread this book soon…
Get the book here: Amazon.com


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