Ilana Diamant's Reviews > Fugitive Pieces

Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
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's review
Jul 02, 2012

liked it

This novel has been described as poetic in many reviews I've looked at, and I would repeat that, and add that it's rare to find novels that are and feel poetic. But, that didn't prevent the book from being boring, and I can't believe how it's possible to make a Holocaust novel boring but Anne Michaels managed to do that.Mostly because her plot and characters relied so much on the geology metaphors and framework that she chose to juxtaposed against the murderous social aspect of the Holocaust. Plus the 2nd part of the novel with the added narrator following on the steps of the 1st one seems superfluous - she should have been able to end the story with an appropriate ending for her 1st narrator and main character (instead of, say, leaving things vague in an attempt to make the plot poetic, which can't be done since a plot is not what makes novels poetic in the first place, the plot needs to be clear and the story similarly full for the main characters. Unfinished lives can be rendered in metaphor, can be hinted at or made a main theme but not left vague in an attempt to make them poetic or whatever it is she was aiming at). I also don't appreciate the reliance on stereotypes re Greece (the sun! the sea! the magnificence of mountains and archeology!) that does nothing but essentialize the place and its inhabitants, fictional and real.

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