No One Is Talking About This, by Patricia Lockwood

There was so much buzz about Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking About This, that I couldn’t wait to dive in. And now I can definitely say I understand why it received so much praise in terms of timeliness and originality. The book’s structure and subject matter both touch on things that we’ve all grown oh too familiar with: our obsession with the internet, ceaseless connectivity, ever-shorter attention spans, and our disconnectedness from one another.

And yet, for all it’s relevance and powerful messages, I admit I struggled to get through this one. The story is divided into two parts, and the first is utterly fragmented, random, and practically without plot, so that I didn’t feel invested in the protagonist (or anything, really… and perhaps to some extent that is the point).

The second part of the novel is much different than the first. A powerful plot emerges, a cast of characters is introduced, and suddenly the narrative is so compelling that I read most of it in one sitting. The story in part two, it should be said, merits a content warning (TW: terminal illness, child death) and I was utterly unprepared for how devastated I would be (especially as a new parent). And though I have to recognize the skilled writing that drew me in during this second half of the book, it was really quite difficult to get that far in this book for me.

If you’ve read this one, I’d really love to hear your thoughts, because I realize how original and relevant it was from start to finish. Did you struggle with the fragmented writing? Did you enjoy the narrative? Let me know!

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