The Privileges

**Referencing this post for a bit on my background may help you understand this post a little better.

When the Pulitzers are announced, I generally go through the list of winners and runners-up and start reserving books at the library. My first one came in. This is one of the runners-up.

The cover of the copy I have has a line from one of the reviews - "A cunning, seductive novel... delicious page by page."

I do not agree with the review. I finished the book quickly, as I do with most books. It is pretty short. I didn't hate the book, I didn't love the book, I very much understood the book.

A little more from my background. It is sad to think back at my friends' dads who spent time in prison for embezzlement, for fraud, for other financial crimes. When you have money, and whether born into it, or successful with career ventures, I don't understand the thrill of illegally obtaining even more. The thrill of cheating the system, the deception of cheating your company, the heartbreak resulting from cheating your family. But I saw it happen a number of times.

Another thing my upbringing taught me: I dislike, greatly, trust funds. I have so many friends who have lived a "life of luxury" living off their trust fund. They didn't go to college, or college was just more high school for them. Playing all the time, living with no responsibility, acting as though they have no cares. It makes me sick actually how they have wasted life, and money that could have helped so many others really. I think one of my brothers who played all of his away by age 28 or so. Though luckily he also got an education, has a career and can support his family today (though I wonder if he ever told his wife, who he met after the money was spent?) My other brother and I have a different view on our grandparent's money and do not plan to ever touch it unless circumstances become such that physically, or the like, we are not able to support ourselves and/or families. Independence and self-reliance is very important to us. Money is not the key to happiness.

That being said, I really related with one of the characters in the book. I want to say I was disgusted by the behavior of other characters, but I think the author really nailed the likes of many people I grew up with. Absolutely, positively, likes attract, and my closest friends and I share the same values and attitude towards life - but I can see other friends, who could have been the inspiration for the author's story. Hmmm, I wonder...

I supposed if the world of wealth intrigues you, you want to know how some people live, you may agree with the review on the book jacket. I don't think I recommend this book though. I am going to say that I liked it, just because I see a lot of truth in the authors words. But I still think he glamorized the lifestyle too much - let people get away with things (but unfortunately for every friend's father who landed in prison, there were probably a handful getting away with the same thing who were never caught). It is almost a reality bites story in my mind.

Enjoy... or don't...

1 comment:

Caprene said...

Spoiler Alert: In the very end, the character I relate to changed. I don't plan on changing like that, it disappointed me that he changed...