Reading the description of this book I thought I might be in for something along the lines of the 1985 film, After Hours.
Lola is a hip, modern New Yorker. She’s an editor, now in her early 30’s. She’s had her string of boyfriends and lovers but is currently living a boyfriend whom she will be marrying soon.
On one particular night out with some friends Lola steps away from the gathering to pick up a pack of cigarettes when she runs into an old boyfriend – someone she hasn’t thought about in a very long time. The timing, however, creates some anxiety as Lola is currently in a relationship with ‘Boots’ and she’s been stressing over whether or not this is ‘the one’ – the potential life-long marriage. Of course, running into this old boyfriend now prompts her to consider and compare.
But as the evening wears on, Lola continues to run into ex-boyfriends (and she’s had quite a few). The meetings all feel as though they are chance encounters, but what are the odds that she should run into so many just at the time she is considering a life-changing moment? Slim, of course, but what could be behind it? There is indeed something at play, a cult, oddly enough. A cult of ex-boyfriends? Could it be?
As Lola continues her odd night of encounters, she realizes she has fewer and fewer reasons to be delaying her wedding to Boots.
I really thought this was going to be a deliciously odd book, right up my alley, but was disappointed in the presentation.
This isn’t the exciting, quirky story I was hoping for … the kind where you eagerly look forward to the next paragraph, the next page, the next chapter, to see what comes next (more quirkiness or a revelation?!). This was a slow, methodical layering of a story. That works often enough, but with an idea so off-the-wall, we need a pace and energy to match, and this does not. Some of this has to do with the language. Author Sloane Crosley writes with a rich, brilliant language, but that actually holds this story back. We get caught up in the prose, or stumble over the prose, instead of the action.
The concept is pretty brilliant … a cult of ex-boyfriends – and even the over-arcing story of the woman trying to figure out her life and her future life makes for a potentially best-selling book. I think I’d like to see this same concept given to a dozen different writers to see how different the stories would be because I really like the concept.
Looking for a good book? Cult Classic by Sloane Crosley is an off-beat, satire, romance that doesn’t quite provide the wit and charm that it promises.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Sloane Crosley
hardcover, 304 pages