Book Review: Trust – by Hernan Diaz

My wife’s book club has assigned themselves Trust to read as the current book. Sometimes I tag on and read their book – but I stay away from the book club. Let me take a wild guess: Nobody in her book club is going to finish reading this book. I got to 37% before I finally gave up.

Trust won the Pulitzer Prize – go figure.

This book is utterly unreadable. I have a hard time believing that anybody can possibly finish reading this book. It’s about nothing. It starts out with a story about a young financier named Benjamin Rask and his wife Helen, both socially inept but somehow financially brilliant. Benjamin inherits his father’s tobacco empire and when both of his parents die, he promptly sells it and builds his own financial empire. Then he marries Helen, a young woman without any social skills. Today they would both probably be on the autistic spectrum. It is not clear how the two are becoming tycoons and billionaires in the New York of the 1920s.

There is NO DIALOG in this book. The characters are never speaking. The entire book is exposition. There isn’t even much character description. It just tells you, on and on and on, what the characters are thinking and doing. As a result, they never become real. They have no personalities, no depth, you can’t picture them. And they never do anything. Nothing happens. Yes, the author tells you what is going on, but you have to believe him. Since nothing happens, there is no story, there is no suspense. You don’t want to turn the pages to find out what happens next.

The only reason I kept turning the pages was because I thought that sometime soon the story must start. And then, at about 34%, the first book about Benjamin and Helen just stopped almost mid-sentence. Another book started, and the author described the unbelievable life of another brat rich guy. More exposition, more of no action, no story, no suspense.

Please, let me out of this!

As always when I don’t finish reading a book, I refrain from rating it.

If you find yourself reading this book and finishing it, I’d like to hear about it. You should earn a prize.

Pulitzer anyone?

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