Best to keep this short, I think. Or risk dancing about architecture. The Road is a love story, of sorts. Meaning, it’s a story about love. First andBest to keep this short, I think. Or risk dancing about architecture. The Road is a love story, of sorts. Meaning, it’s a story about love. First and foremost.
It’s a book that you read with the mind second, the hollow of your chest first. And when you close its cover, insert your train-ticket-cum-bookmark, it lingers in both. Then it’s time to crack its spine again and your insides surge and sink, as if you’re looking over the edge of a tall, swaying building.
The Road, this story, is always coursing through you. And as outrageous, as horrific, as some of the novel’s scenes and scenarios are, it reflects life perhaps more purely than any I’ve ever read. To McCarthy’s credit, he doesn’t sensationalize any of the horror. It’s all remarkably unaffected. Which only serves to underscore how two paragraphs of prose ripen into two weeks of preoccupation.
That a book this quiet could echo so loudly....more
The only negative thing I can say – or, more accurately, am willing to say – about this novel is that it begs to be read by the fireplace, and not eveThe only negative thing I can say – or, more accurately, am willing to say – about this novel is that it begs to be read by the fireplace, and not everybody has a fireplace. I don't have a fireplace....more
A curious little narrative told with wonderfully understated style. This quintessentially Southern Gothic tale is populated by quietly quirky characteA curious little narrative told with wonderfully understated style. This quintessentially Southern Gothic tale is populated by quietly quirky characters that seem to be charging through some epic trajectory but ultimately bound to the mundane realities of their warped worlds.
Propelled by their oddly manifested religious and philosophical appetites and, moreover, their nagging need for validation, the unpleasant but not entirely unempathetic Hazel Motes and Enoch Emery attempt to transcend their small lives. Because in their twisted minds and black hearts, something epic truly does lurk.
And it was this genius tension between my epic expectations and the very matter-as-fact resolves that really won me over. It surged like a grand novel and whispered like short fiction.
And then there's this subtextual commentary on redemption, faith and truth that mainly reveals itself in plot and dialog and lingers ungently.
Winter’s Tale. Sigh. Its sundry contradictions, repetitions and meanderings are covered in such blankets of beauty. Like the layers of snow the authorWinter’s Tale. Sigh. Its sundry contradictions, repetitions and meanderings are covered in such blankets of beauty. Like the layers of snow the author so relentlessly – and wonderfully – describes.
The whole thing felt like a bedtime story made up by some grandfather or other, spun over the span of months. The teller holding only a faint clue of where the tale was taking us. Call me creepy, but I think I’m going to have to let Mr. Helprin tuck me in again. ...more
Post-modern trickery, deceased fathers and their precocious offspring, WWII/Holocaust-era backstories, interweaving narratives tied together by endearPost-modern trickery, deceased fathers and their precocious offspring, WWII/Holocaust-era backstories, interweaving narratives tied together by endearingly convenient coincidences and gradually unveiled personal histories. No, I’m not speaking of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (which, admittedly, I adore), I’m referring to his other half’s novel.
The novel that introduced me to one of my favorite voices in contemporary fiction: Leo Gursky.
I’m fairly certain that many readers have found – and will find – Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love precious, saccharine, derivative, maybe even suspicious. With that in mind, I’m going to work under the assumption that G_d lets some novels circulate amongst the world’s reading subculture with the purpose of gloriously taking just a few hearts hostage at the expense of those beating in the chests of the majority. I, through no fault or merit of my own, am left to further assume that I am one of those the novel was written for.
Years ago, I stumbled across a short story in the New Yorker that was excerpted from, or became, this novel. Then, as now, I was hooked as early as the opening lines: “When they write my obituary. Tomorrow. Or the next day. It will say, LEO GUSRKY IS SURVIVED BY AN APARTMENT FULL OF SHIT.”
And so. My underlining pen never left my hand. All the way to the tale’s heartbreakingly beautiful anti-climax that lingers in a heart like the first loves the book is so obsessed with.
For a few at least, utterly life-affirming. ...more