American Music is another indirect, dreamy novel with lots of back stories (see Eucalyptus) and I liked this one even less. In Eucalyptus it seemed that the author needed to display his encyclopedic knowledge of trees (or perhaps simply the outcome of his assistant’s research on trees) and that was annoying at times, but the story at hand was reasonably engrossing if not exactly new and original. Here, none of the stories seem to have much punch. the main protagonist is an Iraq veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder and little to say. One of the back stories describes several generations of a family story with unexciting repeats of unrequited love and teenage pregnancies while the other is an even less likely tale of a young woman in a harem.
I could not wait for the end, and not in a good way.