A review by infinitejoe
Kapitoil by Teddy Wayne


I read this book because of the 2010 recommendation from Jonathan Franzen in the Daily Beast, which I actually just stumbled across recently.

I really enjoyed this book for its story, but even more so because of the characters that I felt Teddy Wayne developed so well. Karim was extremely likable and I felt really invested in his navigation of a foreign territory, being America in general, and more closely its corporate practices in the financial industry. I also enjoyed watching Rebecca navigate her own foreign territory, namely her relationship with Karim.

I appreciated the underlying theme that in life, things can change you in small, imperceptible ways, and if you let them continue to change you in these ways over a long period of time, you may end up one day realizing you have become a completely different person than you once were, corrupted, and unlikable to both yourself and others. It's how we deal with the small moments as they happen, head on, to hopefully preserve our dignity and sense of self.

Finally, I was also pleased with the end of the book. I have a problem with a certain type of ending to books, and this one was not a disappointment. When I spend considerable time wondering what the future holds for what I have to remember to keep telling myself are fictional characters, I know that the author hooked me effectively.