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Cover art forVladimir


Julia May Jonas

Started Reading
Apr 20, 2022
Finished Reading
May 14, 2022

I started this while taking the train in to Philly for one of my rare days in the office, and then promptly forgot about it. The perils of shifting between ebooks and paper books, I guess. I’m not sure what to make of it—there is an explicit argument within the text that art needs to make space for characters that behave in ways contrary to our ethical and moral principles, something touched on in Laura Marsh’s review in The Nation. But my ambivalence is more related to the structure of the novel—there’s a turn into thriller/melodrama territory in the final third that feels abrupt, so much so that I wondered if Jonas was employing a formal shift akin to ones in films like Mulholland Drive, Always Shine, or Bergman Island. It also gets more fragmented in a way that feels…unfinished, where I couldn’t tell if it was intentional or a writer running out of steam. Like I said, I’m not sure how to feel about it.