“Inside the castle hovered a shadow version of him, alone, watching this full, well-lit house from the other’s emptiness. Looking through the glass, he was divided in two.”
When I first learned the premise of Dinosaurs — a man moves into a new home next to a house with a glass wall, showing him his neighbors’ lives as if on a stage — I expected something visually shocking to happen. But perhaps what I love most about this novel is its subtly. Characters exchange meaningful moments of silence. Characters come home from events and experiences that we can only theorize about. The result is that so much of the story happens off the page. We see glimpses of their daily lives, just as the main characters sees only a portion of his neighbors’ lives through the glass.
There’s a sense of the uncanny in this novel. It feels like you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. And while bad things do happen, they feel very human and inevitable rather than abrupt and gratuitous. I was surprised how heart-warming and hopeful this novel ended up being. I also enjoyed the motif of birds throughout, and seeing how the different birds come to represent different phases/feelings in the main character’s life (at least, that’s I how saw it).
I think it’s better to go into this book with less information than more, so I’ll keep this review on the short side and just encourage you to definitely pick this one up.
Any recommendations for other novels by Lydia Millet that I should check out? I’d love to know.
Take care xx
Leave a Reply