Book Trailer The Noble Train

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Triburbia is not a novel

Triburbia while very good is not a novel. Sorry but it is not. Karl Taro Greenfelds' montage of the Tribecka area and the families who live in the lofts and apartments people the stories of this middle age angst compilation about the fairly well to do who hang in New York in the free fall zone of Bohemia transitioning to gentrification. Very well done and well worth the read but I had to go back and look at the cover and see what the publisher was calling the book because to me it was a book of short stories that interrelated, but it was not a novel. Harper Collins called the book.... A Novel.

And why not? Short stories are a hard sell. People want a long continued narrative one can get lost in. And Triburbia while extremely enjoyable as a series of stories did not have that long gooey elasticity that must stretch through the book and keep the reader on the highway. Triburbia is a series of side streets that start and stop but rarely  intersect. And that is ok too because the sights on the streets are interesting and when one is finished driving you are ready for the next street. But it is no highway.

This echoes Jay Mcinerny's review in the NY Times where he said it was not quite there as a novel. It really wasn't there at all and yes there are no hard and fast rules for novels and forms may be experimented with. But, there must be a continuity to the character development and finally that egg thing rolls in where it must meet up at the end and become round or at least oval. Triburbia remains dissected and very great in it's parts, motifs, vignettes of successful and not so successful people in a rarefied area of NY trying to sort out the mess of middle age. is not a novel.

Books by William Hazelgrove