2017 releases

Music, Race and a Whole Lot of Confusion: White Tears by Hari Kunzru

White Tears by Hari KunzruI wish someone would explain to me what have I just read.

It’s true that I like going into books blindly. If someone praises a book, I am inclined to pick it up, without really knowing what I am getting myself into. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. This time, it really didn’t.

This is a story about two guys obsessed with blues and authentic music and what not. They record a black guy in the park, and with some work, they pass it off as a original 1920s blues recording and the story spins from there.

This book is so weird. And not in a good way.

When I first started reading this, the book felt like it was going to deal with two very privileged guys and the main focus seemed to be on their privileged and pretentious lives. I was waiting for all that to backfire at them and to see things unravel in that same, pretentious context. The characters felt very flat, and generic, but I was enjoying the anticipation of the book becoming the same two-white-guys-whining story I see all the time, but tend to enjoy. That didn’t happen.

The story just started getting boring.

I was skimming and being really annoyed with the book, and the characters, and I was really over it. The book was posed as a sort of mystery and I was waiting for the shoe to drop and for everything to just be over. The tension that was being created felt overbearing and artificial and I was bored out of my mind.

And then the story took another turn and completely lost me.

So I am not going to spoil anything (and to be honest, I don’t even know how), but the story then takes a really weird turn into a sort of supernatural territory, while trying to make a sort of point about cultural appropriation. The honest truth is that I personally did not get that. At all. Went straight over my head. Whush. I had to read that bit about cultural appropriation online and even then I still don’t really get it. It was so strange and confusing and I was completely lost.

So yeah, I have to say, that was probably the worst reading experience of the year for me. I should have dnf-ed it, but I dnf-ed so many ARCs and wanted to finish this one. And it ended up being the worst time ever. It was painful to read. I wouldn’t necessarily say that the book was the worst ever, maybe I just didn’t understand it. However, I would never recommend this to you. I think it’s too confusing and convoluted. So, sadly:

Final verdict: 1.5 stars

If you read this one, please let me know what you thought, help me make sense of this book!


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3 thoughts on “Music, Race and a Whole Lot of Confusion: White Tears by Hari Kunzru

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