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In the Company of Educated Men

3 Jan

In The Company of Educated Men(SKIP IT)

Author: Leonce Gaiter

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

First Published: 2014

Page Count: 177

Type: Paperback

Film/ TV Adaptation: No

Rating: 1/5 Stars

A less than thrilling plot that confuses and feels a bit far-fetched.

__________________Positives__________________

*Competent writer

___________________Negatives_____________________

*Unbelievable plot    *Confusing at times     *Unlikable main character

The question has been, ‘How did one barely-a-man wreak such havoc?’” Lennie has just graduated from Harvard University, but feels trapped by the expectations placed on him by the inhabitants of his privileged life. To try to find a meaningful existence, he and two of his friends from college embark on a road trip across the US. However, a hold up at a gas station throws their lives into chaos when they find themselves kidnapped by a gun wielding teen and also discover a young girl stowed away in their car trying to escape her troubled home life.

Leonce Gaiter is a great writer; I can give him that. He painted a very clear image of the events and setting of the book, as well as the internal struggles of the characters. While I could easily recognize his talent for writing, I just could not conjure up any positive feelings about this story.

Right off the bat, I wasn’t a fan of Lennie, the main character. He always complains about his privileged upbringing, his lack of purpose in the world, and how he can’t relate to people of different backgrounds than him. To me that just painted him as a stuck up young adult that had not mastered the art of compassion or empathy. Then, Lennie selfishly bullies his two friends to join him on his soul-searching trip, completely throwing their lives into chaos. This is where the book started to get unbelievable. If his friends were not as well off as he and needed to work then I doubt they would just drop everything and say sayonara to their parents who are most likely housing them and covering their expenses while they save money. And then I find it unbelievable that four grown adults can get stuck up at a gas station by a scrawny sixteen year old even if he is half-heartedly holding a hand gun. I could go on and on about elements of the book that I found confusing from how Lennie starts to sympathize with the kidnapper in what seemed like the fastest form of Stockholm syndrome I’ve ever read, to the case of the missing bullets, and the scene with the woman and her lit up trailer home. It was all bizarre, slightly annoying, and a bit all over the place. The only character I ended up relating to was Paul, one of Lennie’s two friends on the trip who the author probably wanted us to see in a negative light because of his actions late in the book. In my view he was the only sane one in the whole story and the only one that acted or felt the way a real human being would feel in these situations.

This is a fast story, but only because it’s a little book. It doesn’t feel like a thriller which means the story doesn’t move at that pace. While there are action scenes, the overall book feels more focused on internal views held by the characters and how their actions affect the story. I could not buy much of what happened in this book, so I’d have to say skip it.

*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.

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