robert's Reviews > The Lime Twig

The Lime Twig by John Hawkes
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's review
Dec 08, 10

I am growing increasingly annoyed with literary critics. Once again I have been inspired by their hosannahs to encounter a new author and after an exciting search purchased my first John Hawkes novel. The Cannibal disappointed, but undeterred I plowed into The Lime Twig. Far better than its predecessor, in the end it succumbed to the same faults. Leslie Fielder's intro states that Hawkes "makes terror rather than love the center of his work," and there are spellbinding passages, feverish dreams, and a kidnapping recounted with a queasy specificity that fills one with dread over its injustice. Fielder asserts that Hawkes seeks and shares unmitigated truth. Supposedly, our experience of the world is fractured and therefore Hawkes' presentation is equally fractured and half-focused, as indistinct as our perception. In my opinion, this hallucinatory blurring of reality only obfuscates a tinny, melodramatic story. As we gradually comprehend what's happening no deep truth is revealed. The only revelation that occurs is the revelation of plot. It starts to feel like a cheat for creating suspense. By the end I felt like I was reading a John Grisham novel disguised as Finnegan's Wake.

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