ContemporaryThe Odyssey by Lara Williams

The Odyssey by Lara Williams


This is one of those books that every few pages I was thinking (and sometimes saying out loud to no one in particular) WHAT THE ACTUAL ****. Friends who have been with us in this little corner of the internet will know we never negatively review, if we don’t like a book it doesn’t go on the grid. However I cannot help but think that the author wanted and was provoking extreme reactions.

I didn’t like any of the characters, because they are just listless and existing. I wanted to physically shake them and snap them out of their ennui. The way Williams evokes a sense of place (or lack thereof) was a demonstration of literary genius, the reader is physically on the ship, feeling the waves, disorientated, losing a sense of time.

There is a caustic commentary on consumerism, anxiety and the human need to fit in. As things begin to unravel and chaos descends, I couldn’t put it down, it came with me everywhere on a recent holiday. In a sea (sorry) of literature, this is really unique and I am still thinking about it a number of books later, it’s seeping eerieness lingers ~ C.

Possibly the strangest book I’ve read this year thus far, I don’t even know how to describe the latest offering from Lara Williams. I do know, though, that I couldn’t put it down, so intrigued and weirded out was I.

I loved the premise. Set on a cruise ship, it follows Ingrid, an employee on rotation, who has various different roles on the ship. Williams creates an atmosphere brilliantly, conveying both the claustrophobia and isolation that must come with working and living out at sea.

Employed first in the gift shop, then as a manicurist, Ingrid soon finds herself selected for a mentorship programme that is seriously cult-like. It’s about self development and self discovery, apparently, but in fact it’s highly questionably and downright creepy. I’ll let you see for yourselves what happens next.

This isn’t one for everyone, but it’s one that if you do read it, you’ll certainly carry on thinking about it. Compelling and unnerving, you probably won’t look at cruiseliners the same way ever again ~ S

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