I won’t lie, this slow, moody and incredibly
melancholy book was a little bit of a struggle for me. Don’t get me wrong, it is very well written
and Marcello is undoubtedly extremely good quality; I am in no doubt that if
you are a fan of this type of book, genre and writing style, you will love it. The good reviews are well-merited, but I think
this is more for me a matter of personal taste.
It is incredibly slow and poignant, which I don’t have a problem with,
of course, but in such cases the subject matter does need to engage me, and sadly
The Latecomers fell a little short here, for me personally.
The storyline is a pretty simple one, about an
elderly couple in their second marriage, who find that their seemingly perfect
life together may have run its course, and it starts to implode. As they spend time apart, each practising
their new-age, open relationship tolerance, the reality of their spiritual pretentiousness
tests them to the limit. Meanwhile,
there is a somewhat hazy plot involving big pharma interest in their island
commune, but this is a very slow starter, not really showing itself until the book’s
final quarter. Overall, though, the book
is about the characters and the soul-searching they do, as each of them
desperately tries to find a profoundness in their isolated clique, or moai.
Whilst not far from middle-aged myself, it is
fair to say that I struggled to relate to any of the characters, and call me
discriminatory, but I just couldn’t get on with all the sex these senior
citizens were getting up to, in the guise of soul-searching: inter-marital; extra-marital;
pre-marital; making love, talking about making love, thinking about making love
– Craig David could have learnt a lot from them. For this perhaps prudish and judgmental
reviewer, it all just felt a little seedy and unwelcome to my eyes.
The Latecomers is a particularly bleak book,
which heavily lays on the melancholy.
The dialogue and narrative are profound and sad throughout, and it does become
very heavy reading at times, particularly in the last third. So much so, in fact, that by the overdue time
the big pharma storyline becomes a prominent feature, I had already started to
drift – it was almost like reading two separate parts of a series, so different
was the mood and context here. This said,
I am certain that other readers, perhaps of a more pensive mindset or age group,
will enjoy this book a great deal, and will certainly appreciate Marcello’s
quality.BUY NOW FROM AMAZON
In : Book Reviews