by Steven Boykey Sidley (Picador Africa) ISBN: 9781770102149
Entanglement is pretentious, boring and badly-written. It is a perfect example of a debut novelist who has somehow become published before he has learnt the craft of novel-writing.
Jared is having a mid-life crisis. Trapped in academia, and horrified by the stupidity of people, he is confronted with a few traumatic experiences. Not even these allowed me to see past the fact that Jared is a truly unlikable protagonist. It takes a brilliant writer to write a passable antihero, and Sidley is not a good storyteller. It was impossible to believe that arrogant, opinionated Jared had friends and a ‘perfect’ girlfriend.
The author tells, and tells, and tells. Writers need to show, as all good readers, and writers, know. Ironically, the endless babble in Jared’s head is what Jared hates most. It is stupid. The first 30 pages were useless backstory. I would have abandoned the book then if I did not have to review it. The book is also difficult to read – printed in a font that is too small, and on white paper, much like a school text book.