Monday, September 14, 2020


SPEEDBOAT is a novel by Renata Adler. I came across it in my Goodreads feed. The cover caught my eye. Then I read some of the reviews and was intrigued enough to order a copy. Finished reading it recently.

The story is often described as a "plot-less" novel. Actually, it is a very cleverly designed and well-written collection of memories. Told by a fictional character about her fictional life. Arranged in short segments - some only a single paragraph. It reads like a conversation you've had with friends after dinner. One of those conversations that moves from topic to topic and back and forth and you hear something and wonder what happened next but before you can ask, the conversation moves on to another topic. Then it comes back again to the one you were interested in and you find out a little bit more, but before you can get the whole story the conversation veers in a new direction. Something like that.

The book was written in the 1970s and has the feel of the era. New York writer, movie critic, social critic. A bit of an edge to the voice. Adler was at times very much on the inside of the New York literary crowd, and very much on the outs. I like her work and was fascinated by the way she did this book.

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