Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Angry Young Man by Chris Lynch

I'd actually been meaning to pick up Inexcusable by Chris Lynch for the past few months, but when I had the opportunity to read Angry Young Man I decided to make that my introduction to Lynch instead. Angry Young Man is the story of two brothers, told from the perspective of the older brother Robert, who lives in a small apartment with his little brother Alexander and his mother. The boys have two different fathers and their mother has never married. Robert is taking classes at the local community college, working to help out his mom, and spending a lot of time with his girlfriend, while Alexander mostly just spends time in his room. When Alexander does the unthinkable Robert has to decide how far he'll really go for his little brother.

This book took me awhile to get into, which is kinda significant when you consider it's under 200 pages so taking 100 to catch my interest is over half the novel. The issue I had was that Angry Young Man only develops a plot in the last quarter of the book. I've repeatedly said that I don't mind novels without plots (hello literary fiction) but this is a young adult book with fairly basic characters and writing so it just doesn't work without any plot driving the reader to turn the pages. It was really difficult to even try to give a synopsis of the story without giving away spoilers, since the story doesn't even really start until three quarters into the book. I did find it nice to read a novel written in a masculine voice for a change as I seem to mostly pick up YA with female narrators.

My favourite thing about Angry Young Man is the relationship that Lynch portrays between Robert and Alexander. He shows that even when people love each other, they can still sometimes do heartless things, like ignore their younger brother when he is being bullied. The way the brothers interacted felt very believable. On the other hand, I couldn't care less about all the relationship drama the book contained including Alexander going out with a girl Robert once dated.

The major problem I had with Angry Young Man was not only that there wasn't a plot for most of the book, but that when it did occur I really didn't buy it. Of course, the book is written from Robert's perspective not Alexander's so it is impossible to really get inside his head, but Lynch made him become suddenly "angry" and it just felt odd. I never truly felt Alexander was even actually angry, he seemed more jaded and a bit of a loner, and his sudden transition to extremist felt awkward and unbelievable. Angry Young Man is a book which is definitely attempting to appeal to a specific audience- that of angry young men- but I think from a literary perspective it would mostly be appropriate for younger teens who might not notice the gaping flaws in character development.

Release Date: February 8th, 2011
Pages: 176
: 1/5

Source: E-galley from publisher
Buy the Book

1 comment:

  1. That needed a whole lot of execution editing :-0

    In response to your query.

    Zoe - yes, if you liked an author to the point of trying another this year absolutely, I think that is great.

    It just cannot be a part of a series.


Your comments make my day!