Friday, October 12, 2012

"Sutton" by J.R. Moehringer

I wanted to love SuttonJ.R. Moehringer's first novel, but after reading it, found myself somewhat disappointed.

I've been a fan of Moehringer's writing from first reading the Andre Agassi biography Open he co-wrote. Since then, there was one of my favorite books, The Tender Bar, his memoir leading up to a writing career and various excellent magazine pieces like "Yesterday's News" from a few years back for the Denver magazine 5280.

I heard about Sutton from a announcement early last year and while the writing in the book certainly had some moments of brilliance from Moehringer, I wasn't that into the narrative of Sutton's post-prison conversations with with a photographer and reporter getting his story. More importantly, though, I found the ending (well, the climactic scene just prior to the ending) to be confusing as to what was going on and not terribly satisfying.

After finishing the book, I went and looked for reviews online and the first two I found at least somewhat shared my view with an Entertainment weekly review by Karen Valby and then one for the New York Times by Dwight Garner. All in all, I still think Moehringer a great writer and he took on an interesting subject, just perhaps the techniques Moehringer used in writing a novel detracted from the reading experience for me.