Non-Review: “The Havoc Tree,” Layden Robinson

A non-review is something I do when I couldn’t finish a book. Even though Layden Robinson’s The Havoc Tree is very short, I couldn’t get myself to finish it. I won’t review the book on Amazon or Goodreads, but here I’ll try to give you an idea of why I couldn’t finish, so you hopefully will be able to tell whether you might be interested or not.

It’s kind of a stream of consciousness, with ALL CAPS in a lot of places. I think different parts are from different points of view? Maybe? It’s very hard to tell who’s saying or doing what. It’s surreal and weird. The last time I actually enjoyed a stream of consciousness book with ALL CAPS phrases was a Joyce Carol Oates book years ago, and this doesn’t hold up to that. I can’t tell what’s going on, I have no idea who anyone is. There’s someone the narrator keeps calling a “sophisticated lunatic” who seems to be a very bestial lunatic instead, and, hell, I don’t know. It just wasn’t worth finishing.

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