A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall — Review

March 13, 2015

I picked up Will Chancellor’s A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall after seeing it pop up on a couple of “Best of 2014” lists. It was also short-listed for the Tournament of Books, so there was some promising buzz and I was intrigued.

The book started out really well for me, but as it progressed I found the characters to be less sympathetic and significantly less interesting. Much of the conflict that occurs in the book felt so contrived and farcical. By the end of the book it starts to get interesting again, but it certainly doesn’t make sense.

Maybe this just diverged too much from where I expected the narrative to go, but a huge chunk of this book (let’s say the middle third or so) was just not up my alley. I think I wanted more mythology and less young, possibly sociopathic artistic life.

…Reading that back to myself, that sounds like something I would normally go for. I’m clearly at a loss. Is there some fancy scientific machine that can scan me while reading and tell me why I do or do not enjoy a particular book? That would be splendid, I’ll take two thanks!

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