Tuesday 22 January 2013

Triburbia by Karl Taro Greenfeld

My good friend The Girl Booker brought Triburbia to my attention last year. I've been saving it as one of my summer holiday reads ever since.

And I wasn't disappointed.

Triburbia follows the lives of a group of creative types. They're all 30 pushing 40, married, divorced, with kids, without, gay and straight.

My husband read Triburbia after me which meant that our discussions about the book last over several weeks.

We wondered if we had 'wasted' our lives by not making the kind of money that many of the Tribeca folk obviously had.

My husband wondered if he'd missed his creative opportunities in life á la the memorist  "I thought of all the ways a writer's life could go wrong: never actually writing anything..., losing one's nerve, never having enough time to write, never getting published, never achieving recognition, never making a living, never fulfilling early promise, spending one's career doing the wrong sort of writing, having one's work censored, being imprisoned, always feeling underappreciated, becoming jealous, bitter, angry, resentful, dying undiscovered."

But ultimately, the lives of the characters in Triburbia were so fucked up, that there was nothing to envy at all. They were having affairs, addicted to drugs, work, sex, lies or keeping up with the Jones'. They struggled to be happy in the here and now because they thought they would be happy when....except the when never arrived.

Each chapter is written from a different point of view. You see the main characters through other's peoples eyes and you see certain situations from multiple perspectives. It's fascinating in a train-wreck kind of way!


  1. What an interesting post to read. I'm glad you enjoyed the book; I thought it was great and I guess it ultimately made me feel a bit better about my own choices and my own life... not choosing the shallow and shiny path can sometimes make you think you look less impressive from the outside, and you wonder if you could have been more successful etc etc.

    I love a book that makes one think!

  2. I used to wonder about this myself but have come to love and appreciate my cozy little life :)

    1. Yes we're the same. We actually love the life we've created for ourselves, but it's only to natural to reassess & compare every now and again. It's nice when you realise the comparison doesn't even come close to the real thing :-)


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