After a college graduate with a history of hapless jobs reads Robert Louis Stevenson's novel "Treasure Island," she is dumbstruck by the timid design of her life. Convinced that Stevenson's book is cosmically intended for her, she redesigns her life according to its core values: boldness, resolution, independence, and horn-blowing.After a college graduate with a history of hapless jobs reads Robert Louis Stevenson's novel "Treasure Island," she is dumbstruck by the timid design of her life. Convinced that Stevenson's book is cosmically intended for her, she redesigns her life according to its core values: boldness, resolution, independence, and horn-blowing.Read Less
Publishers Weekly, 2011-11-07 In Levine's first novel, an unnamed 25-year-old heroine, ambivalent about her boyfriend and unhappy in her job at the Pet Library (lending furry or finned companionship in lieu of books) adopts Treasure Island as a roadmap for life. Taking the book's "Core Values" of "boldness, resolution, independence, horn-blowing" to heart, she stops cleaning up after the pets, uses her boss's life-savings to acquire a parrot, and generally makes a huge pill of herself to everyone around her. With its three exclamation points, the novel promises irreverent fun, and certainly has an absurdist zaniness and charm, especially in the beginning. But instead of sympathizing with a slacker's efforts, however misguided, to change her life, we grow increasingly restless as it becomes clear that the main thing she's resolute about is never noticing the effect she has on friends and family. The way Levine's (Short Dark Oracles) narrator presents her actions and the cavalcade of misfortunes they bring as justified will make readers wonder if the author is sending up memoirs or 20-something self-involvement, but it doesn't feel like a sendup, and it's hard to get behind this heroine, who seems less humorously deluded than tiresome. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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