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Preview — ABC by David Plante
I read the book because of its review in the Washington Post. This is what it said:
"Readers in search of an intricately plotted, neatly ordered novel that disgorges camera-ready truths and platitudes should seek it elsewhere. ABC's narrative is propulsive but undeniably eccentric. Its mismatched band of "death-obsessed and death-bound friends" is a 21st-century variant on The Wizard of Oz, drawn together by grief
It started off fine - a little mystery in a cabin - a death, a mysterious paper on which is written a deeply mysterious language. Then it segued into fluff. Really pretentious fluff that just didn't make any sense. As another reader note, how did a death have any meaning at all with the history of the alphabet?
All the chacters were pretentious little twits and ...more
The novel opens on a family outing where the six-year-old son of Gerard and Peggy, Harry, is killed. Gerard is also critically injured, but the text doesn’t really specify if the injury is to his legs or back or both. Moments before the ...more
What follows becomes as unhinged as ...more
The idea is intriguing, but the execution and unveiling of plot is terrible. Plante pounds you over the head with philosophy, ideology, and something close to overwhelming transcendentalism. And the dialogue is as difficult to follow as a lecture on any of the aforementioned - something Plante is familiar with as he is himself a professor (heaven help his students). Plante also uses an exorbitant amount of convoluted sentences, punctuated with unnecess ...more
ABC is a tale about the mourning of Gerard Chauvin, a father who loses his son to a freak accident in an old abandoned house while vacationing at ...more
How does a parent carry on after the death of a child? And why do critics differ so greatly in their opinions of veteran author David Plante's latest work? While some appreciated Plante's simple, unadorned writing, others found it oddly flat and perfunctory, reducing character descriptions and settings to "labels on cans" (New York Times Book Review). The novel's middle section, in which the history of the alphabet is explored in a series of lectures given by a Cambridge professor, drains the pl...more
For all the ten years Gerard had been spending his summers on the other side of the lake in the house his wife, Peggy, had inherited from a rich uncle, the cove with the abandoned house overlooking it had been the end of every canoe ride.
Eesh. This is either a poorly-written book or a crime against humanity.