I Am Radar by Reif Larsen

I Am Radar by Reif LarsenI wanted to like Reif Larsen so badly. I was captivated by the look of his first book, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, by its maps and illustrations, but alas I could not finish it. And visually, Larsen’s website is a dream. Really go check it out. So with the above evidence in hand, I had to give Larsen another go with I Am Radar.

Oh how I wanted to like it. I really gave it the old college try. But for me it was another DNF.

Why? I don’t really know. I should have liked I Am Radar. Dense, multi-layered tale of the confluence of art, war and radio? Yes, that sounds like my thing. Travel all around the world, encountering new cultures and conflict with a smattering of physics? Thank you, I’ll take it. So why didn’t I Am Radar work for me?

Maybe it tread too close to fantasy with its magic realism. My suspension of disbelief is not great, and often magic realism doesn’t work for me.

Maybe it was the slow, plodding way in which it was told.

Maybe it was because i didn’t buy into the relationship between Radar’s parents.

Maybe it was because I gave up too soon. I don’t know.

Who would like this book? In spite of my inability to finish I Am Radar, I really do think that it will appeal a certain set of people out there. Not only that I believe that those who like it will love it. Let me know if you liked it and wrote a review and I will include you here.

I received a copy of this book for review consideration from the publisher.


  1. I wanted to like this one so much, too…so much that I read the whole thing. Mistake. I’m not sure how far you got, but Radar’s story is dropped for several other storylines throughout, which felt completely unnecessary and made the book far too long. I think you made the wise choice 😉

  2. I thought that this was a novel told from MASH’s Cpl. Walter “Radar” O’Reilly’s perspective and I thought it could be brilliant. Imagine my disappointment when I actually read the blurb. – Kirt

  3. I’ve been trying to decide if I wanted to read this and was originally no for a long time but had recently settled on yes. But now that I’ve read your review and the comments here, and now that I’ve seen it’s over 600 pages long, I’m back to no. If I’m not completely sold on it to start, I know the length and magical realism will throw me off.

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