Monday, 27 February 2012

Care of Wooden Floors review

I liked the quirky, different premise of this book and it started in a promising way with an interesting style of writing full of imagery, but it soon became a predictable, farcical black comedy and reminded me of an extreme Mr Bean style episode.
The nameless narrator is sent to a mystery Eastern European city to look after Oskar, his old University friend’s flat while he is in LA sorting out the details of his divorce. Oskar is a composer and a cleanliness and tidiness freak, with his flat full of clean lines and expensive pieces, which are in direct contrast to the ramshackle, dirty and old-fashioned location. The narrator is tasked with looking after his two cats and in particular the very expensive, bespoke wooden floor, well you can already guess what is going to happen!

At first I quite enjoyed the juxtapositions between the white flat and the narrator’s visits outside, especially the visit to the local museum which reveals the city’s sadness and recent history, but unfortunately this was not explored any further.

Towards the second half of the book, I started to get extremely frustrated, as the events just didn’t ring true. How can a well educated man whose job is to copy write and proof important local council information leaflets full of small details, turn into a drunken, lazy lout with no self control once he is abroad and make such stupid mistakes which lead to catastrophes. Worse still, he shows no remorse and refuses to take responsibility for his actions.

I found the ending even more frustrating as Oskar’s reaction just makes the whole story pointless. This is a book with no emotion or human feeling and I’m afraid it just left me cold.

No comments:

Post a Comment