Robin's Reviews > Sophie's Choice

Sophie's Choice by William Styron
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's review
Jun 01, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: classics
Read in May, 2011

It's kind of amazing to me that I just got around to reading this -- such a part of the American cultural landscape. William Styron's writing is very impressive -- the diction is stunning. That alone makes me want to read more of his work, like Nat Turner and Darkness Visible. But while I feel mildly heretical saying this, I think the novel as a whole suffered from the shape of it. His narrator seemed to get in the way of the story. Maybe it was because it was self-indulgently autobiographical in nature, or maybe because the revelations of the titular character were so slow in coming and that her (quoted) diction felt contrived (yet beautiful), but I felt like the pacing was off a bit. But that’s not to say that it wasn’t a fine piece of work that captures atmosphere in a glorious kind of way – whether it’s the attic office of a Nazi officer, or a Brooklyn apartment in the late 40s. Its treatment of music alone almost makes it worth the read. Not to mention the whole morality/guilt thing.

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