Sunday, May 3, 2009

66 - Apologize, Apologize; Elizabeth Kelly

Apologize, Apologize is an off beat debut novel by Elizabeth Kelly. The audio version which I listened to was fairly well done by Jeff Woodman.

In this story, Collie ( yes....named after a dog) Flanagan, tells the story of his eccentric relatives, most of whom are alcoholics living on Martha's Vineyard. Collie is the dullest, but most normal character of the bunch. Anais, is Collie's neurotic, vindictive mother. Charlie, is the father; a heavy drinker, and a womanizing Irishman. Then there is a brother Bingo (also named after a dog) who is the favored son: he flunks out of prep school and he is all charm and gloss. If these characters are not enough to land a few laughs from the reader, there is still a pigeon-breeding uncle and a super-rich grandfather to round out the motley cast. The story is told in wry, apologetic tones.
While Collie, is truly trying to find his place in life, he clearly needs the support of family to help him find his way...something he never seems to find. The true weakness of this story is that the characters are too quirky to be believable (at least for me), and that the story lacks a sense of focus. It seems to move all over the place without satisfactory closure. Despite this there were some humorous scenes that made my struggle with this book a bit more bearable.
RATING - 2/5 - COMPLETED - 5/3/2009


  1. A shame it wasn't focussed. I always imagine if a book is like that , the author is not sure where the story is leading.

  2. It's hard when you feel like you have to struggle to finish a book. Nice review though.

  3. Thanks for the review. I'm going to add this to my to-read list. I love books about really eccentric families.

  4. It sounds to me as if the characters are more stereotype than individuals -- the drunken Irish father, etc. I'm afraid I would have a hard time with this one. For me, character development is much more important than plot.

  5. Though the plot sounds interesting, I think I too would have a problem with all the character quirkiness. I like a little bit of strangeness in the books I read sometimes, but too much really puts me off. Great review!


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