After a weeks-long wait, Lee Cole’s Groundskeeping finally came in for me at the library earlier this week. I started reading it last night.
While I am only about a hundred pages in, I can say already that it violates several of my rules for reading novels:
- Don’t read novels by white guys in their late twenties and early thirties, especially if they live in Brooklyn.
- Don’t read novels in which the main character is a struggling author.
- Don’t read novels in which the author does not use quotation marks for the dialogue.
Cole is a white guy who looks to be in his late twenties or early thirties and the book jacket says he lives in Brooklyn. The main character that narrates the book is an aspiring author who moves in to his elderly grandfather’s basement after loosing his job, and there is nary a quotation mark to be found, despite long passages that are nothing but several characters talking to one another.
That all sounds bad and is normally the sort of thing that would completely put me off a book. Life is, after all, too short to waste time with bad fiction.
What’s crazy is that—so far, at least—I am really liking Groundskeeping. Cole puts words together quite well, and characters with whom I feel like I should be annoyed are interesting and engaging.
Given the I am skeptical that he will be able to keep me engaged for the entire book, but I am already past the point when I have usually decided whether to abandon or stick with a novel and I remain cautiously optimistic.