About me
Archive
About me

Review: The Submission by Amy Waldman

close

Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 5 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 5 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

This is a very interesting concept for a novel. It’s set after the terror attacks that took place in New York eleven years ago yesterday. In a reflection of reality, a group of jurors convenes to select a suitable memorial to the dead from those submitted by designers. In order to ensure that the jury isn’t swayed by the names of some of the internationally renowned designers submitting designs, the designs are judged anonymously. When the winning design is selected, it is found to belong to Mohammed Khan, an ambitious architect who happens to be an American Muslim.

The bulk of the novel describes the consternation, debates, and protests this revelation sets in train. There’s relatively little plot, but lots of first-person reflection on situations.

Unfortunately, it all turns out to be a little dull, primarily because the characters are poorly developed and only consider the situation from within their given view-set. There’s no meta-reflection, if you like, on the wider problem of religion causing dispute. I’m not sure if the author intended to leave that to the reader, but I missed any hint in that direction.

From a plot point-of-view, I’d have liked to have seen the reaction to the final decision explored in more detail outside of the central characters, as that’s really the most interesting concept.

So, in the end, it’s an interesting set-up, but ends up being a little empty, and hence more than a little disappointing.

I struggled with the star-rating on this one: it sits somewhere between two and three stars. I ultimately plumped for three on the strength of the premise more than anything else… I’m still not completely convinced it lives up to that rating.

The Submission is available now from amazon.co.uk in paperback and on Kindle.

This 1,860th post was filed under: Book Reviews, .

More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 1st April 2018)

World TB Day (published 24th March 2018)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 5th March 2018)

Goodbye Ctrl-S (published 1st August 2014)

Full Monty: The Rivals (published 11th December 2003)

Review: The Autobiography by Margaret Thatcher (published 29th May 2013)

So… Four digits… The 1,000th post (published 19th November 2006)


Comments and responses

No comments or responses to this article have been published yet.

Compose a new comment



Comment

You may use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> .

If you would like to display a profile picture beside your comment, sign up for Gravatar, and enter your email address above.

By submitting your comment, you confirm that it conforms to the site's comment policy. Comments are subject to both automatic and human moderation, and may take some time to appear.



The content of this site is copyright protected by a Creative Commons License, with some rights reserved. All trademarks, images and logos remain the property of their respective owners. The accuracy of information on this site is in no way guaranteed. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author. No responsibility can be accepted for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information provided by this site. This site uses cookies - click here for more information.