You Shall Know Our Velocity was one of my more literary holiday reads and it’s a bit of a road trip by genre: Will’s dragging his friend around the world getting rid of a large amount of money he’s obtained by a quirk of fate. He wants to do something good, but really doesn’t know how and the idea is to find poor people and just give them a wad.
Of course, the real journey Will’s trying to make is one that will enable him to come to terms with his best friend’s accidental death. He wants to make sense of the world and his place within it so there’s lot of American naïvety. Like the French tourists who say America pays for the world (unlikely) and his surprise that other countries aren’t hanging around America’s gates like smokers outside an office, wishing they could come in from the cold. And that’s the book’s purpose, in a way, to expose America in a new way, that is, by the points of difference and discomfort with the foreignness of everything else.
So does his character arc? Well when a novel’s first person opening paragraph tells you this story is post-mortem, how can it do anything else?
People watching in Praia da Rocha……Airport Terminal better than a MyTravel Airtours cruise ship
Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller……Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
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