The Idiot by Elif Batuman

“You don’t just blow everything with one wrong move. A friendship is a space where you’re supported and free to make mistakes. I think when you reach this understanding a lot of things are going to feel better for you.” The Idiot by Elif Batuman

If you have been following my blog, you’d know that I start and end my book reviews with a quote from the book I’m reviewing. Sadly, I couldn’t find more than one quote worth sharing from “The Idiot”.

Sure, it is my fault for judging book by its cover. In my defense, I did not expect a novel with such good ratings to suck this much.

Let’s begin by discussing the story, shall we?

Now, the whole time I kept waiting for something to happen or for it to make sense somehow. It was so incoherent and illogical. To me, it felt like the author didn’t know where to go with it.

You know when you’re given an assignment and you try your best to write because you need to submit it before the deadline with the precise number of word count? This is the pressure what I felt the writer was going through. Later, I found out that this book had been written in 2001. Clearly, that was not the case.

I still don’t know what the genre of this book was.. Romance? contemporary? historical fiction? travel? philosophy? chick lit? autobiography? It’s as if the writer tried to fit everything into one novel.

Was there any message? I failed to understand the purpose behind it. It was incoherent, not just the story  but also the characters.

The protagonist particularly was so disconnected. The whole time I felt like she was some extremely boring and aloof person who was trying to complicate her life for no good reason. There were times when she opened up a bit but it felt so staged even when she laughed.

There were so many characters introduced and all at once. It was mentally exhausting to keep a track of them.

Even though I finished this book yesterday, I feel like this can’t be it? Have I really read a book or was it some sort of disturbing nightmare?

Maybe it was intended for a very different kind of reader. I did not enjoy it at all.

Either it was too convoluted for my taste or it was really idiotic.


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