How to Be Both review

Here’s a book I really want to love, as it’s lighthearted tale about how art connects time and space and its people. Even the form is highly original, telling about two motherless figures, six hundred years apart — one a troubled teenager, the other an Italian fresco painter. These perspectives draw you in.

The book is marketed as a genre bending, but it’s also where form gets into the way of function. I will accept that some parts are not meant to be understood, but rather to be felt — but it’s especially the rambles and unstructured sentences that go on for pages and pages that have a hard time holding your attention. At times it’s infuriating, and I cannot love it merely because the topic is art and because it’s a fresh approach to writing (or merely to look profound).

Update in 2022: When I finished it, I felt glad it was over, but now looking back, I so sympathize with Francescho and George.