So my book club last month read Care of Wooden Floors by Will Wiles. It got picked randomly just by looking around Chapters and pulling random titles, then voting.
Overall, the reviews were very mixed. The general idea of the story is this: the main character, whose name we never do find out, is asked to apartment sit by his friend Oscar. He is a writer of commercial jingles, struggling to be something more. Oscar is a relatively famous composer of classical music. The two met in college.
We never actually meet Oscar face to face except in memories, but his presence is very strongly there throughout the whole book. This is actually a book about Oscar. Oscar's flat, Oscar's stuff, Oscar's marriage, Oscar's friends, Oscar's life. We learn that “control freak” and “perfectionist” are not quite strong enough terms to describe Oscar. When we arrive at his apartment, there are annoying little notes in the most annoying places. “Do not play with the piano!” On the piano keys. Notes everywhere, stating how things are to be done, how to look after the cats, and most importantly, to take meticulous care of the pristine wooden floors in the flat.
What starts out as a simple apartment sitting situation, quickly turns to disaster. One mishap after another, where our lead blames everyone but himself, leads to quite a messy situation.
This is actually a lot like watching a car crash in slow motion. There is an ominous feeling throughout the whole thing. A feeling like – this can't end well. Innocent actions turn disastrous, and you can't help feeling throughout like this guy really is his own worst enemy.
As for my own feelings about this book, well, I didn't really have many. I mean, it was okay, but I like to have emotions from reading a book. I didn't have any here. I didn't root for anyone, I didn't particularly like anyone in the book. When I was finished, I found myself asking really what the point of the story was.
There have been many positive reviews of this book online, and I'm sure that many that appreciate this writing style will enjoy it.
I feel duped. The mention of porn on the back made me vote for it. It was just okay.