About Me

My photo
Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Lincoln In The Bardo

This is the first novel by National Book Award nominee George Saunders and it received a lot of positive buzz. The premise sounded intriguing: Two days after his death, Willie Lincoln was laid to rest in a marble crypt in a Georgetown cemetery. His grief stricken father, Abraham Lincoln, visits the crypt to spend time with his son’s body. He is not alone, the crypt is populated by ghosts of the recently passed and the long dead. They are stuck in the bardo, a Tibetan Buddhist comment that refers to a transitional state after death. Some spirits proceed to the afterlife. Others are tethered for one reason or another to their earthly remains. The novel is told through the dialogue of the spirits who remain in the bardo and I found the format confusing. The narrators believe that, because Willie is a child, he should move on to the afterlife but the child wants to remain to commune with his beloved father.
I found myself getting lost at times (I couldn't easily identify which character was speaking) and put the book down many times just to get my bearings but I determined to plough on.

Update: I tried to like it, I really did, but I lost interest about half way through and decided to move on .

No comments: