Thursday, May 15, 2014

Roosevelt's Beast—Louis Bayard

I didn't realize when I requested this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program that it had some supernatural elements to it. This is admittedly my own fault for oftentimes not reading all the way through the descriptions. I found that supernatural factor off-putting while reading the book, particularly because I have something of a love affair with the Roosevelts.

However, I didn't know much, or anything really, about Kermit Roosevelt before I read this book. Now, the book is fictionalized, so I don't necessarily know a whole lot more than I did before. But still it was interesting to see the dynamic between Kermit and his grandiose father. And also to think about how difficult it would have been to be the son of a former president, as well as the cousin of a future president AND future first lady. I can only imagine that anything you chose to do would be seen as something of a failure, even if you were a successful person by any person's definition. So it was interesting to see his struggle with that, which is a feeling that is eminently easy to relate to even these days. I also knew nothing about the Amazon excursion, which is one of the truths that the story is based upon, and was intrigued enough to find out more about that, history-nerd that I am. (If you are interested, you can find out more basic information on the Wikipedia page. Or, you know, read an actual book with verified information about it.)

Mostly this book just really rubbed me the wrong way, and I couldn't nail down precisely why that was. I like historical fiction books, I like supernatural books, I even like historical fiction supernatural books. But I couldn't settle into this one. For some reason, I just couldn't reconcile the two genres in my mind for this book.