What is the book about:
Negative Space tells the story of a provocative Los Angeles painter named Max Higgins, on the verge of local fame. What is the secret to his work's haunting allure? He collects photos of missing persons and incorporates them into his paintings, giving the often melancholy faces, as he puts it, a "home in his work." This fascination stems from the bizarre disappearances of people he knew growing up, including his father. Then someone recognizes a face in one of his paintings, and he is suddenly thrust into a journey as surreal as anything from his brush, a journey into his past that will determine irrevocably his future
I had such hopes for this book. I read the write up and was so excited as the story line sounded so inviting and was so different to the norm. The opening scene/prologue is very confusing when I was trying to connect to the story/characters. It took me a while to adapt to Mike's writing style, connect to the story and warm up to the characters. By the end of Chapter One I was very intrigued.
I like the way Mike incorporated the meaning of the title of the book into the story. There were parts that were anti-climatic and confusing, as the story didn't flow very well. It almost felt like there were too many POV changes. Mike writes really well and I believe he could have done so much more with this original story line - it had such great potential. While thinking about this story line, I actually thought that this would make an intriguing movie.
I enjoyed the parts where Mike describes the type of archetypes in a tribe discussed in the book: creators, destroyers, collectors and teachers. This was an interesting theme in the book.
My favorite character of the book was Karen/Penelope - I just loved that she was comfortable with herself and what she did and the life that she led. My least favorite character would be James - everything about him irritated me. I also liked Max, but I found his character to be confusing some of the time.
By the time the story came to an end, I was left with a few unanswered questions, like what happened to his necklace that he was so attached to?
The book holds your attention because you want to see how it all connects at the end - it was not your typical ending, but I did like the way Max's story ended.