Domestic Violets – Matthew Norman – 3/10 (DNF)

“When Lyle is gone and I’ve hung up the phone, I’m faced with the grim prospect of having do my job and write some more corporate propaganda.”

Tom Violet, 35, married to the beautiful and compassionate Anna and father of the adorable Allie, is a copywriter who is singularly uninspired by his job. To make matters worse, his adulterous, pot-smoking father has just won the Pulitzer Prize. So Tom’s debut novel, slaved over in secret for years, looks like a non-starter. Oh, and he’s struggling in bed, too.

This is a bizarre mix of Then We Came To The End (to which I gave 10/10) and William Walker’s First Year of Marriage: A Horror Story (2/10). Unfortunately, Domestic Violets had one of my least favourite types of protagonist: male, perfect family life, cynical, good at his job but apathetic and considers it beneath him, cringingly self-conscious, adulterous – in his mind or in actuality, makes no difference to me.

The writing is quite good:

“He’s one of those aged pot smokers who kept at it while everyone else gave it up and got jobs and started quietly voting Republican.”

“Her eyes are big and she’s jittery from all the excitement, like she’s been sneaking handfuls of coffee beans since dinner, and I wish it was legal to fasten children to their beds.”

“It’s like someone called a casting agency and requested an actor to play the part someone to annoy me.”

“We hold each other’s eyes for a moment as he tries to crush my windpipe with his mind.”

But I wasted 3 hours on William Walker and wasn’t going to make the same mistake with this one.

One for fans of Nick Hornby.

Reviews from other bloggers: BermudaOnion; A Book Club Girl show featuring Matthew Norman; That’s What She Read; Booking Mama; Teresa’s Reading Corner; Beth Fish Reads; Like Fire; S. Krishna’s Books; Devourer of Books; Leeswammes

Additional info:
Kindly provided by the publisher for an honest review, via NetGalley.
Publisher: HarperPerennial, paperback, 368 pages.
Order this from Amazon*
* this is an affiliate link – I will be paid a small percentage of your purchase price if you use this link, which goes towards giveaways.
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2 thoughts on “Domestic Violets – Matthew Norman – 3/10 (DNF)

  1. Ellen Rhudy 10 September 2011 at 1:04 pm Reply

    I’ve seen a few reviews of this one but even the positive ones haven’t left me thrilled. What the plot synopsis makes me think of is always, for whatever reason, And Then We Came to the End (so I’m glad to see you mention that one too). I liked that one but I don’t have the energy to slog through a novel about that sort of apathetic male character you describe. I hope I get in the right mood for this one eventually, if only to see what all the fuss is about, but for now I’ll leave it aside.

  2. bermudaonion (Kathy) 11 September 2011 at 5:06 pm Reply

    This didn’t really remind me of And Then We Came to the End – I thought it was more about Tom’s family than his job. Sorry it didn’t work for you. Thanks for linking to my review.

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