I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Actual Rating: 2


I Crawl Through It follows several different characters:
Gustav, the boy who is building an invisible helicopter.
China, who has swallowed herself.
Swanzi, who has a split personality.
And Lansdale, who can’t stop lying.

This was quite possibly the most bizarre book I’ve ever read. There definitely is a very meaningful message, but the way it was executed was honestly extremely confusing. I am someone who loves symbolism and metaphors and magical realism, but this one was definitely different – and to be honest, I wouldn’t have shelved it under magical realism either.

At the very beginning, I was hooked, but after a while, although the plot was changing, the entire style was too ambiguous for me to get anything out of it. By the last few pages, where the reveal is, I had already predicted what was going on and had lost interest. Even the blurb is more concrete than the story itself.

The thing about this book is that the writing style is beautiful. A.S. King’s writing styles always are. But just because it was beautiful doesn’t mean it was engaging, and I honestly thought that the story was a little too convoluted.

The only character that I could even remotely understand was Swanzi. The other characters felt disconnected, which is a shame, considering how much potential they had. Their stories just didn’t really seem to intertwine.

In addition, I was very interested in what was on the back of this book, but the story was extremely different and the “bomb threats” that were mentioned only showed up a little. Another part of the book that stood out to me was “the man in the bush”. Even now, I’m very confused about what that was and I wish I knew even more about the letters that he gave.

I did really love the writing style, but the book was simply too hard to enjoy. I really don’t know how to describe this book in any word other than bizarre. I didn’t even try to love it. I don’t think I understand it enough to.

After the book ended, there were still so many unanswered questions, and although this does play into the author’s message, I felt like there was no closure. I do appreciate the attempts to address several societal issues such as rape or PTSD, but the story itself was just a little too confusing for the point to be made.

Although I enjoyed the writing style, I felt like I was reading each page “separately”, as if I was enjoying the rhythm of the words as they flowed, but not really taking and what they were saying. Overall, I don’t even know who to recommend this too, but if you’re a fan of ambiguous metaphors, then by all means, go ahead.


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