Book: Freedomland by Richard Price

Can you write a review about a book you didn’t finish? I guess that fact that I disliked it so much that I put it down is a review in itself, but let’s go through this exercise anyway. The book and the movie (didn’t see it either and am not inclined to at this point) have a great premise, plot and twist. The problems I had was that I couldn’t believe that the main character’s dialogue was real and that the actions and beliefs of the supporting characters was at all believable.

The two main characters are the police detective, Lorenzo, and the white woman, Brenda, whose car has been hijacked and whose son was supposed to be in the back seat. Everytime Brenda opens her mouth, it reads like a script. I never got pulled into it and caught up with it. I never felt a mother’s desperation or even her frantic-ness. I just kept wondering “really?”.

And the supporting characters were a bit too predictable – almost as if they were roles, not characters: “the opportunistic evangelists” or “the angry brother with issues”. I could imagine them as roles that were turned on or off.

In the end, I stopped reading because the book wasn’t human enough for the story. Maybe that was more the fault of whoever wrote the excellent summary on the back cover than anything else.

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