Monday, December 14, 2015

The Fall of Princes - Robert Goolrick

I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season! I'm finding myself constantly balancing work, holiday preparations, nursery preparations, finishing up thank-you notes from the two baby showers, doctor appointments, and my third trimester desire to take a lot of naps. Thankfully, Bonnie and Lola are around to make sure I spend at least some of my time accomplishing nothing but snuggles.

Anyway, onto the topic at hand: I sped through this novel, which is no surprise given that I've loved both of Goolrick's previous books. (A Reliable Wife was literary magic, and Heading Out to Wonderful was beautiful and chilling, if you're interested.) The Fall of Princes was completely out of left field in terms of tone, set in 1980s New York City instead of the woods and more prone to describing the opulence of a life on Wall Street than dissecting the deeper interpersonal relationships between lovers. In all honesty, I felt like I was reading a literary rendition of the Gossip Girl lifestyle (I tried to avoid getting sucked into that show, but what can I say? The phrase "guilty pleasure" exists for a reason). Our protagonist, Rooney, waxes poetic about what it felt like to be the bearer of virtually unlimited amounts of money, and through these recollections, he narrates his inevitable descent into becoming a member of the invisible masses who wear khakis and work retail. The horror! Also, along with his money and job as a trader, Rooney has lost his rich, materialistic wife, Carmela. As he mourns for the family he never created because he was too busy being rich and irresponsible, he assures us he still loves her and will never love anyone else; starting a family with another woman is not an option for him. I got through the whole book without ever understanding why, though. Personally, I was rooting for him to fall for the prostitute in drag he meets after his moneyed world collapses, because that character is a thousand times more lovable than Carmela. Alas.

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