This story features a man named Virgil who comes home to find a woman he can’t remember breaking up with him on his answering machine.
Unfortunately, the rest of The Discreet Pleasures of Rejection is a disappointment. Virgil is your classic egocentric, neurotic, delusional sort of character who believes himself to be far smarter than he actually is. The only problem is that he has not one likable quality. And when the story literally goes nowhere, even Virgil himself can’t keep the reader interested because there is nothing interesting about him. His myriad negative characteristics offer not even a smidgen of charm, and frankly, by the end of the novella I was quite sick of him.
I read the translated version of this book done by Bruce Benderson. Now, I don’t know if something was lost in translation, but I really found little positive to say about The Discreet Pleasures of Rejection.
It came so close to demanding a psychological analysis of Virgil, but, in the end, he simply came across as a tired egomaniac who couldn’t think past his own needs and wants. I’m afraid the story offered absolutely no reward for having finished it.