6.12.2018

20 for 2018: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine


Miranda July. That's all I could picture as I read this book. If it gets made into a film, and Miranda July doesn't play Eleanor, I will boycott.


Why I chose it

I had seen the title pop up on a few "must read" lists. I really had no idea what it was about, but I liked the title.

My stolen summary

From Penguin Random House: "Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office."

Pros
  • Eleanor is an interesting, sympathetic character. I often had the same feeling reading about her as I did when I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, you know, having insight into the protangonist's mindset, but understanding that their actions would be perceived as odd or inappropriate by the outside world
  • I was intrigued by Eleanor's dark past storyline (although, see "Cons" for more)
  • It's a happy ending/redemptive story, which I tend to like these days since the world is burning
Cons
  • In addition to being a quirky cat, Eleanor is living with a variety of mental health issues. These were not explored to my satisfaction
  • The dark past storyline reveal was...meh. A lot of build-up for minimal return. 

Buy/Borrow/Bail?

Hmm, for me this was a borrow. I bought it, but I probably won't read it again. That said, this book was a big hit with a lot of people, so it isn't a crazy risk to buy it.