Finished my third book for the TOB brackets: A Terrible Country, by Keith Gessen.
For about the first third of this book, I just could not figure out why this book made the short list. A disgruntled guy living out a disgruntled life temporarily in a disgruntled country. It just sort of ambled around. But, when his life finally got more interesting, the plot got more interesting as well (shocker! not), and the last third of the book really flew for me. I don’t know if quite that much setup was necessary. Ultimately I’d say I felt more positively about it than just “liked”–i.e., on GoodReads I gave it 4 stars versus 3. There were some really charming bits about it–even some of its repetitiveness became charming ultimately.
It was another one of those “academics on a downturn” books so if you were a fan of Richard Russo’s Straight Man, this might be something you’d enjoy.
(If you’re wondering what I’m talking about with Rooster and TOB, go read this post.)