This month’s book club selection, All That Is, is a beautifully written book that goes absolutely no where! Honestly, never have I read a book with such beautiful, masterful prose with a story that … well … sucks. It left me feeling like I spent the last several days watching Mr. Salter masturbate. It’s the only way I can describe the complete self-indulgence of this story.
The story starts with a young Phillip Bowmen on the eve of battle in the Pacific during World War II and the story follows him throughout his self-absorbed, meaningless life. I wanted to like “Bowmen” as he’s referred to in this book but I couldn’t. He’s just a complete and utter ass.
Which reminds me, what’s with referring to all the male characters by their last names and the female characters by their first? That along with the sex scenes and descriptions and judgements of the women (based upon looks and stereotypes) that I can’t help believing that Mr. Salter is the biggest misogynist out there.
Anyway, back to the story or really lack there off. As I followed Bowmen through his life with divergences into the lives of every other supporting character Bowmen came across, I couldn’t help but feel as if Mr. Salter had a collection of beautiful scenes and characters from his long life that he wanted to use up and chose to cram them into this book in a completely disjointed, unnecessary way.
For example, in Chapter 18, we’re “introduced” to Tim Wille a “furniture designer” mentioned twice before as Bowman’s neighbor who parks his car on the grass aside his house. But in Chapter 18, we get a whole paragraph on the background of the man. Why? Because Bowman hears music coming from his house. Who cares? Wille is never mentioned again – so why must we have that aside? And it’s not just that one, the book is peppered with them. Entire characters who serve absolutely no purpose to the story, just progress that masturbation.
Phillip Bowmen and everyone in his world is a poor representation of the “greatest generation” or any generation for that matter. Don’t waste your time.
I need a shower.