The Bee Sting by Paul Murray: A review
The Bee Sting is the story of the Barnes family, a family that is in trouble and struggling to maintain its station in life as the husband/father's car business hits the skids and he seems incapable of doing anything to save it. Instead, he spends his time out in the woods preparing for the actual end of the world while his wife, Imelda, sells off her jewelry on eBay.
Meanwhile, their teenage daughter, Cass, who has always been a top student in her class, has started drinking as a way of coping with the situation at home, and twelve-year-old PJ is obsessed with video game forums. On one of those forums, he has met someone named Ethan who is encouraging him to run away from home.
So, we have a family about to fly apart and the question is, "Can this family be saved?" And, perhaps, should it be?
Paul Murray is a very good writer and this is a well-written book, but I think it could have benefitted from a stricter editor. The Kindle version of the book, which is what I read, is 736 pages long! It could have been a hundred pages - maybe even 200 pages - shorter and still told the story and, in my opinion, it would have been a better book.
I did enjoy the book even in its great length and I really have no criticism of it other than the fact that it is just too long. While reading it, I frequently had the urge to say to the writer, "Just get on with it!" That, I think, is not the reaction the writer was going for.