You deserve nothing by Alexander Maksik

you deserve nothing

This book is on this series “Tv Book Club”. Since I read at least a couple of books from each series of the show, I have decided to put it as a tag. As of this review, I have not seen the show’s segment on it and may never so I can’t speculate on what the panel said or thought.

When I heard about the premise of the book, I was interested by the setting of Paris and the illicit nature of the relationship between two of the main characters. When I first started the book, I found the prose is a bit strange and clipped, cool. There was a bit of second person narrative or rather the main characters seem to talk to themselves and refer to ‘you’ a lot. Still, after the initial pages, it was mostly first person.

I went through this book much quicker than I thought. It was an easy read though it had some darker issues about growing up, isolation, and ultimately, loneliness. The author is good at describing loneliness. There were some very Paris moments in the book which I enjoyed as that is one of my favourite cities.

You deserve nothing is adult fiction, but allegedly the author based it on his own experiences. I can see that because a lot of the feelings in the book and the situations seemed real. I could see how people at the age were and remembered it. Though, these kids had vastly different issues than I did. I didn’t relate to their disillusionment of Will the main character, but I understood it.

There is one sex scene in this novel that is actually well written. I find most sex scenes in novels either badly written or unremarkable. In this novel, it was well done and fitting for the characters and the scene.

The ending and a lot of the novel reminded me of Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. I’m not sure I actually liked the ending of this book; it just seemed to be just there. Maybe that was the point. I did want more from the characters.

Read March 16th, 2012.

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