Reviews

Outline, by Rachel Cusk

seulki's review

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3.0

I liked this. I think.
I found it to be simultaneously (and antonymously) a quick, easy, and enjoyable read but also a chore to get through. Maybe less a chore but... I did get distracted by a different book in the middle and found it difficult to find my way back to the book... Though once I began reading it again, I found it to be enjoyable.

bookishinthebay's review against another edition

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Could be wrong book wrong time, but I could not get into this. 

benni's review

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reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No

1.5

agenor's review

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3.0

Outline consists of a series of conversations between the narrator and acquaintances, friends or a group of students during a short trip to Athens to teach a writing workshop. It is elemental in it's style with very little emphasis on plot and almost feels as though these are notes on characters that the author is considering using in a later novel, or ones that never made it into a previous novel; b-tracks of the literary world perhaps.

The characters aren't particularly well drawn and feel to be more just spokespeople for various philosophical points of view. It is to be applauded that the opinions aren't simply for or against a single way of life / opinion but each seems to be approaching life and their experiences from a different perspective, some compatible while others contradictory.

The characters discuss pivotal moments in their lives, some seeking a logic in the events and others using them as evidence of the overall randomness of life and the futility in trying to control your destiny.

It was engaging and difficult to put down with an innovative style, but overall wasn't cohesive enough in my opinion. I think the characters would have also benefited from more depth, but the brevity seems to have been part of the overall impact intended by the author.

katmeredith's review against another edition

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challenging reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0

pernille's review against another edition

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4.0

3.5

taliad97's review

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reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

carolinereed04's review

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challenging reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

jen_reads0909's review

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4.0

I found Rachel Cusk’s “Outline” to be infuriating and compelling all at once. At times I was bored and hating the experience, and yet I blazed through it and found myself nodding along with some of the observations made, almost despite myself. It feels both stark and rich which is a feat in and of itself, and the heat of Athens juxtaposed with the narrator’s seeming coldness and breathtaking objectivity is a strange world to inhabit.
The writing is truly remarkable and I reached for my tablet to order the next two books in her trilogy...but I doubt this book would be for everyone. It’s a book I admire but don’t love. Maybe the trilogy will grab me more as I move through it, who knows?

jewelbr0dy's review

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reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No

3.0