This is, quite simply, a very odd book. Author Chris Katsaropoulos has drafted a novella (212 pages) about the tragic lives of three people – two female, one male – and interwoven them. Unfortunately, the interweaving is literal in terms of the structure of this work. The reader is going along reading about one character’s life when suddenly – without a page break, new sentence or paragraph beginning but with a bit of illogically placed blank space – you are reading about the second character, and then the third. I initially presumed that this was an unedited galley (preview copy) until it became clear that this is the structure deliberately selected by the writer.
I am not sure what the attraction is of this unconventional style, unless it is to gain attention for what is labeled an “attention-grabbing” tale. This story structure asks for too much work on the part of the reader, and the supposed calling of its unique literary device becomes all too distracting, all too tiring, all too soon. Is there someone for whom I would recommend
This piece? (And you see how distracting the unconventional structure is? This is an example of the type of segues used in Fragile.)
Well, I think it might be a work that appeals to an actor – male or female – used to performing in ultra avant-garde works. Or for an art lover who adores Picasso above all others. Or someone who has not outgrown Vonnegut, as in Kurt.
Fragile is like a version, in words, of Paul McCartney’s “Picasso’s Last Words,” in which the former Beatle used an unconventional interweaving song structure to pay aural tribute to an unconventional gifted artist. In that song it was interesting. Fragile, however, proves that unconventionality can be too cute for its own words. Literally.
A review copy was provided by Smith Publicity, Inc.