What am I going to say about Raymond Carver that you haven't already heard/thought/experienced yourself? Probably nothing. So I'll just say, my favoriWhat am I going to say about Raymond Carver that you haven't already heard/thought/experienced yourself? Probably nothing. So I'll just say, my favorites in this particular collection:
* Cathedral (Duh) * Feathers * Where I'm Calling From * Careful * Fever...more
I originally gave this 4-stars, but I'm upping my rating to 5-stars. Not what I typically read at all but incredibly satisfying. This book works on aI originally gave this 4-stars, but I'm upping my rating to 5-stars. Not what I typically read at all but incredibly satisfying. This book works on a number of levels -- engaging plot, interesting characters, important subject matter, etc. The last 100 or so pages are completely staggering. The perfect book to read when you're laid up and on pain meds, but I suspect it's enjoyable in other scenarios, as well....more
So, right up front, I'm married to the author of this book. You should assume that I am hopelessly, ridiculously biased. There. Glad we got that out oSo, right up front, I'm married to the author of this book. You should assume that I am hopelessly, ridiculously biased. There. Glad we got that out of the way.
For those of you who are still reading, I don't think there's a way I can top my review of California. I gave that book 5-stars, and I felt (and still feel!) that it deserved it. It will sound weird because the author is my wife and all, but there are many things in that book I still think about today.
But Woman No. 17 is a better book. That's just, like, a fact.
It doesn't have the same easy-to-pitch premise that California does. But WN17 is about a whole mess of different things. Here's what I'd say is its core:
* Motherhood (and daughterhood). The plot revolves around Lady, a mother of two boys--one a toddler, one a teenager--living in the Hollywood hills and newly separated from her husband. Into this mix comes S., a recent college grad artist who becomes nanny to Lady's toddler. Complications ensue. * The self we cultivate and show to the world, particularly as it relates to a) art and b) social media * Female friendship * Los Angeles. But for real Los Angeles, not "La La Land" (the movie or the concept) or some bullshit like that. This is a big deal for those of us who love Los Angeles. So many books get it so, so wrong.
And it has so much good stuff happening in it. It's fun, but with so many interesting threads at which to pull. The reader reviews of this book (by people who don't know the author, mind you!) have often mentioned its readability, how it's hard to put down. In my experience, this is true. It is a very well-plotted book. I have read it maybe three times, and each time, I found myself pulled along, not wanting to stop reading. I bet you'll feel the same.
Basically, I'm jealous that you get to read this for the first time.
A few other miscellaneous notes:
* There is a sense that this book is a mystery. It isn't. It has a mysterious, sexy edge to it, and there's a sense of danger constantly looming, but it's not really a mystery in that traditional sense. I'd call it a literary novel with a noir tinge. * There are some very good made-up tweets in this book. If that's how you roll. * One of my 10 most favorite songs -- "I Want to Be Your Dog" by The Stooges -- features prominently in the book. This is maybe my one small contribution to this amazing novel....more