Review: Will Not Attend

Will Not Attend is a well composed set of personal essays. Adam Resnick tells each story with a careful pacing and a clear narrative.  They have tone appropriate to the incidents and he tuns many clever phrases.  These are beautifully written memoir essays.

While I got a lot out of the collection, I never got to the point where I was rooting for Resnick.  These are all necessarily told from his point of view, but I really can’t call him a protagonist.  Even after spending a book with him, I never come over to his side.

I also get the feeling this may be intentional.

He writes so well, that he may be trying to make these the memoirs of an unlikeable man just to show he can.  That’s not easy to pull off.  People want to be liked. Writers know how to manipulate sympathies.  If he indeed set out to write these pieces to achieve that effect, it’s an impressive feat.

I’m impressed, but not delighted.

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