peteg's blog - noise - books - 2022 10 13 HernanDiaz Trust

Hernan Diaz: Trust. (2022)

/noise/books | Link

Kindle. Gatsby meets unreliable narrators. The roaring-then-cratering 1920s setting put me in mind of Amor Towles's Rules of Civility; clearly it's intended to be topical, with gestures at financial engineering, high-frequency trading exploits, the disconnection of labour from reward. My eyes started glazing after the first part (a novel that introduces us to the financier and his wife). The second part is hard to wade through (an incomplete ghostwritten beat up of the financier's putative achievements). The third part is quite repetitious and self-justifyingly tedious (the ghostwriter's account of those days and her Italian father's incoherent anarchism and typesetting). The fourth part is about meeting expectations: the financier's wife is the genius, not him, but we knew that already.

Diaz misses the crucial foundation of the strategy that Ishiguro made his own: I was never sympathetic to any of the characters. But now I wonder, even being as uninvested I was and am, if this wasn't an Ouroboros.

Nicole Rudick at the New York Review of Books: man looks at world/other man, woman looks at man/men. Yawn. Adam Mars-Jones at the London Review of Books: tea from a bag and warm water, not a patch on Spufford's Golden Hill. Michael Gorra at the New York Times. Goodreads. And so on. Hats off to the marketing team.