Exciting Times review Ø 109

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Ing than an absentee roommate so when Julian announces that he’s returning to Hong Kong she faces a fork in the road Should she return to the easy compatibility of her life with Julian or take a leap into the unknown with EdithPolitically alert heartbreakingly raw and dryly funny Exciting Times is thrillingly attuned to the great freedoms and greater uncertainties of modern love In stylish uncluttered prose Naoise Dolan dissects the personal and financial transactions that make up a life and announces herself as a singular new voice 25 rounded downI think my reaction to this debut novel is both a uestion of being the wrong audience it s not you it s me in other words and also being the wrong book at the wrong time The first is because it s a book about and FOR millennials and Ava the narrator being a 22 year old girl and myself a male 3 times that meant I had almost nothing in common with her Not only couldn t I relate to any of her problems issues would be a apt appellation since she is one of the whiniest and neediest protagonists I ve ever encountered but she is so disagreeable and unlikeable that if I were introduced to her at a social gathering within five minutes I d be itching to find ANY excuse to depart her company That s not a great position to be in when reading about anyone for 256 LONG pagesSecondly with the glare of the increasing tensions about racialeconomic injustice in the US an unconsciously privileged white girl totally clueless as to such she has a rich friend who provides her luxury accommodations for free yet she whines about her perfectly respectable job teaching English at a Hong Kong school just seemed extremely grating to me right now I just couldn t force myself to care a whit about her obsessions as to whether Julian the man she doesn t even care about really loves her or not nor whether she will mess up yet again a seemingly promising relationship with the forthcoming Edith who deserves much better none of her problems are earth shatteringly important to anyone but Ava That said Dolan definitely has writing abilities even remarkable when one considers she is on the autism spectrum and perhaps Ava s inabilities to connect and lack of self awareness are reflective of the author s own issues And though I wouldn t say there is much in the way of the razor sharp wit that seems to be a go to phrase in reviews for this several lines are indeed clever and warrant a chuckle Finally while I can understand all the comparisons to Rooney and Moshfegh I think it s a lazyfacile comparison and ultimately does the book a disserviceHowever my sincere thanks to Netgalley and to Harper Collins for an ARC in exchange for this perhaps too honest review

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Exciting Times

An intimate bracingly intelligent debut novel about a millennial Irish expat who becomes entangled in a love triangle with a male banker and a female lawyerAva moved to Hong Kong to find happiness but so far it isn’t working out Since she left Dublin she’s been spending her days teaching English to rich children she’s been assigned the grammar classes because she lacks warmth and her nights avoiding petulant roommates in her cramped apartmentWhen Ava befriends Julian a witty British banker he offers a shortcut into a lavish life 25 starsSo dreary definitely not exciting Exciting Times is told from Ava s perspective Ava is an Irish expat living in Hong Kong where she teaches English The story focuses on Ava s inner tortured thoughts and feelings as she feels the pull between relationships with English expat banker Julian and local lawyer Edith Ava does all the wrong things She can t commit to the one she loves and she sticks to the one she knows treats her poorly It s well written but I have no patience right now for self absorbed self loathing I think I m also probably a bit too old to relate to these characters sensibilities It took me way too long to read this relatively short book because my attention was easily diverted by other things As I say it s well written so I may simply be the wrong audience or this might be the wrong time Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy

Naoise Dolan ï 9 review

Her meager salary could never allow Ignoring her feminist leanings and her better instincts Ava finds herself moving into Julian’s apartment letting him buy her clothes and eventually striking up a sexual relationship with him When Julian’s job takes him back to London she stays put unsure where their relationship standsEnter Edith A Hong Kong–born lawyer striking and ambitious Edith takes Ava to the theater and leaves her tulips in the hallway Ava wants to be her and wants her Ava has been carefully pretending that Julian is noth Naoise Dolan has been trying to distinguish herself from Sally Rooney The problem is Exciting Times is essentially a ueer novel in the style of Rooney The prose is spare and frustrating and the book itself kind of makes me just want to shrug and say So I m starting to hate the term millennial fiction Because what this term actually represents is what generations behind ours consider to be the classic millennial casual sex privilege nihilism pretentiousness rather than the ever looming paranoia of losing your job with the heaviness of debt and a collapsing globe following you around I think what s clear here is I hate this kindof book one that will naturally be heaped with praise despite deserving very little of it I really didn t like this book I thought it was pretentious and try hard right from the get go butI think I should have guessed that when I picked it up But people will love it and hail it as revolutionary and that just makes me angryIf you liked Sally Rooney and pretentious literary fiction you ll love this one But it s not for me


10 thoughts on “Exciting Times

  1. says:

    2 ½ stars rounded up to 3“I felt I had hitherto woefully misdirected my energies in attempting to cultivate a personality If you didn’t h

  2. says:

    I can see why Sally Rooney is endorsing this Debut novelist Naoise Dolan tells the story of 22 year old Ava who just moved from Ireland to Hongkong trying to figure out what to do with her life She holds a poorly paid job as an English teacher and befriends Julian a rich English banker six years her senior Lonely and broke Ava moves in with him Julian pays for pretty much everything and they start having sex

  3. says:

    25 starsSo dreary definitely not exciting Exciting Times is told from Ava’s perspective Ava is an Irish expat living in Hong Kong where she teaches English The story focuses on Ava’s inner tortured thoughts a

  4. says:

    This novel is a tedious account of one girl’s romantic flings during a year of living and working in Hong Kong Heavily influenced by Sally Rooney’s ‘Normal People’ in terms of the tiresome indecisiveness about committing to a relationship it’s as if ‘Exciting Times’ is just ‘Normal People’ set in China with some extra LGBT content packed in Told from a first person narrative of the main character Ava who is ve

  5. says:

    Naoise Dolan has been trying to distinguish herself from Sally Rooney The problem is 'Exciting Times' is essentially a ueer novel in the style of Rooney The prose is spare and frustrating and the book itself kind of makes me just want to shrug and say 'So' I'm starting to hate the term 'millennial fiction' Because what this term actually represents is what generations behind ours consider to be the classic 'millennial'; casual sex privileg

  6. says:

    Oh my goodness This book is incredibly fin

  7. says:

    Exciting Times is the most Sally Rooney book to have not been penned by Sally Rooney  In a way that statement i

  8. says:

    If you think this book is going to be like Normal People it isn't 25 stars Having seen the comparison floating around I was excited to give this book a shot I also knew that the main character was bisexual so that was anoth

  9. says:

    25 rounded downI think my reaction to this debut novel is both a uestion of being the wrong audience 'it's not you it's me' in other words and also being the wrong book at the wrong time The first is because it's a

  10. says:

    The I think about this novel the it suffers in my estimations Sigh Here goes apologies if this review gets a bit rantyExciting Times follows Ava a 22 year old from Dublin who on graduation from uni moves to Hong Kong to work as a TEFL teacher Ava soon meets Julian a British banker and not long after she moves in with him