Charles's Reviews > The Maytrees

The Maytrees by Annie Dillard
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's review
Jan 08, 2011

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Read from January 04 to 05, 2011

The Maytrees is a curious book.

The storyline is sparse, but it is only a gossamer vehicle for the prose, the grandiloquence of language. I was not bothered by the non-linearity of the narrative, but, I was, at times, annoyed by the inconsistencies of the timeline. Her sentences were staccato, ranging from the caliginous to the nacreous to the opaque. I was not bothered by the vocabulary, although vast, but I was by some of the unusual (?wrong) usage. She is, incontrovertibly, an unrequited and unrepentant sesquipedalian.

I was bothered by the professed search for the quiddity without reference to reality. Her questions of love demonstrated her to be less of an exegete than one hoped, seeking satori but finding banality. I was not bothered by the frequent use of metaphor, but found some as thick as pabulum, with jarring juxtapositions and bizarre imagery.

Her language, designed for effect, more often reflected affect. The prose was lyrical, but I’m not sure that I always enjoyed, or even understood, the lyrics being sung.


It was occasionally beautiful, and moving, and touching, and lovely.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Jen (last edited Jan 07, 2011 07:47PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen This is one book I wouldn't mind hearing read on cd. It reads well, it is written well, and yet...

Charles I actually listened to it on CD. That is the only confession that I will make at this time, although I have many more to make.

message 3: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen Is one that you had a vocabulary list of impressive words to try to work into your review?

Charles Aw, p'shaw. I got lotsa big ol' fancy words fer y'all city folk.

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