I am Radar by Reif Larsen is a character study of a black man born to white parents.
This book was very slow and hard for me to read, I have to be upfront about that. The book is written beautifully and Reif Larsen is a terrific writer, but I just couldn’t get into this book. It took me months to get through because it’s so packed full of narrative. It is packed full of science, relationship drama, history and major character conflicts and soul searching.
I wish I would have loved this book more, because I am amazed at Reif’s writing style. I fell in love with these characters, but then the story would switch up and go somewhere else. I just got devoted to Radar and his parents and then the story switched around and took me somewhere I didn’t want to go. I wanted to watch Radar’s life tumble in front of my eyes, but I didn’t get that. Honestly though, Radar and his parents were my favourite part of this story. Watching them grow and react to life was a real gem. I wanted way more of that, because I absolutely loved them.
If you like books that follow the entire story of a person, including their backstory and their family’s story – you’ll love this book. It truly is a cool character study. Following Radar is the main purpose of this book, but we learn so much more about other characters as well. It’s a fictional drama story that is written beautifully. That’s where it stands with me. It also includes great illustrations and historic notes making it feel more non-fiction than fiction at times. Oh, and did I mention lots and lots of science and radio waves?
I would definitely suggest this as a book for an English class. I’d love to see someone pick it apart and explain it to me. I was just not invested enough to re-read sections and to go back and understand a lot of the book. It’s not a book to just sit down and binge – it’s too full of knowledge and information. You have to be willing to go back and understand everything that’s happening to really get it. So, it’s just not for me at this point in time.
Overall, the over 600 pages were not my cup of tea. I think Reif is a wonderful writer and I hope he finds his readers! He’s too talented, I don’t want it to go to waste! Pick up this book if you love a good drama full of science and knowledge. I’m honored to have read this book, because it is really cool. I’m just not his ideal reader.
Two out of five stars.
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
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