ISBN #: 978-1926708928
Page Count: 300
Copyright: April 15, 2013
Publisher: Inanna Poetry and Fiction Series
(Taken from Goodreads)
The adage about "what happens in Vegas" is funny precisely because we know it's wishful thinking. A Glittering Chaos is about what happens when "what happens in Vegas" comes home to haunt you.
Melusine is a German librarian whose ho-hum world wobbles after she tags along when her husband Hans attends a Las Vegas optometry conference. A newly empty nester who speaks no English, Melusine's voyage of self-discovery is punctuated by the poetry of Ingeborg Bachmann, nude photos in the desert, a black dildo named Kurt, autoerotic asphyxia, and the unraveling of her husband's sanity because of a secret from his youth.
A smart, funny and incredibly wise novel about marriage, secrets and lies, and unusual sexual proclivities.
I really hate to give a bad review, especially when it is part of a book blog tour, but here we are ...
The first thing I noticed about this book (and maybe it was just because I had an e-ARC for reviewing) was that there were no chapter separations. The entire book flowed page after page after page with only a small design separating certain segments to indicate a change of direction. That annoyed me. I'm reading this late at night thinking that soon I'll be able to put it down at a definitive stopping point before going to bed. Nope.
And, I'm sorry you people who raved about this book, I did not like nor understand Melusine and her husband Hans. It wasn't really clear in the book (that I can remember) where they lived, but I'm assuming from the summary it was in Germany. Otherwise, why would she be working in an American library without knowing any English? From that assumption I can understand why Melusine doesn't speak English, but why does Hans? Where did he learn English? If they live in Germany, I wouldn't think there'd be an extensive English-speaking clientele for his optometry practice.
Anyhow, Hans has told Melusine that he has an optometrist convention in Las Vegas. There's really not a convention. He's actually going there to look for his sister, who is apparently a drug-addict and prostitute. Which begs the question: Why Las Vegas? I'm sure there are plenty of European prostitutes and drug addicts that she could have hooked up with.
Melusine has decided to go to Las Vegas with Hans to have some fun. Did she not think knowing SOME English would be beneficial?! But, no, she learns no English before going there. Fortunately, she meets a man while drunk who just so happens to speak German. How coincidental ... and obvious. They wind up having an affair and write to each other after she leaves Vegas to head back to Germany. Oh, by the way, Gunther (the American who speaks German) is married. He is in Vegas to, basically, run away from home because he cannot handle his wife's depression over miscarrying their child. I understand the depression and him wanting to get away from it, but this man is supposed to love his wife. I get the whole "what happens in Vegas" adage, so I understand his affair with Melusine despite loving his wife. What I don't understand is how they can write and make phone calls and Gunther come see Melusine in Germany while he's still married. What the frack?! Is he going to stay married or not? If it mentions in the book where he and his wife separated, then I probably missed that during one of my skimming sessions.
The ONLY thing I liked about this book is the title. A Glittering Chaos refers to Las Vegas, which I think is an apt and perfect nickname for the city.
I'm sorry ya'll, but there's no way I would recommend this book be read by anyone.
*An e-ARC was provided by the tour host in exchange for an honest review ... which they may now be regretting.