Mechanical Swans Make Me Feel Stupid


I hate it when books make me feel stupid, and I just finished one that did just that.

It's called The Chemistry of Tears, by Peter Carey, and is a two-time Booker Prize winner. Perhaps that should have warned me off, but no.

It has wonderful promise, this story that weaves together two stories, or perhaps more than two. Contemporary horologist meets an insane genius inventor through the notebooks of his patron. Grief unites them from their varying points in time. Hints of God and atheism are sprinkled throughout. The book combines mechanics and mystery, and love and friendship between odd fellows.

Definitely lots of promise.

But I couldn't quite wrap my brain around it. I just don't think I'm smart enough.

Oh literary fiction. You are such a tool for humility.