Kate's Reviews > Watson's Apology: A Novel

Watson's Apology by Beryl Bainbridge
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's review
Aug 14, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: truecrime, fiction, historical-fiction

Glad I stuck with it! In the fourth section Bainbridge taps into her most awesome ability - that of giving just enough information to know that SOMETHING bad has happened, but not enough to piece it all together. The suspense is fantastic. And the way she ends the book is brilliant. Tony Earley I think is showing himself to have an amazing elegance when it comes to describing very personal, internal moments -- I'm referring to cognitive moments, in the head rather than emotional (though Earley is great at both)-- but Bainbridge has been doing it for years. She's so incredibly intellectual, and all of her characters are so emotionally out of touch, that you end up feeling haunted. It's a very unique style that I think would put off a lot of readers, but I find the dry horror of the emotional deficiency incredibly compelling and very much envy her style. This is the third of hers I've read in 2008 and I'm eager to pick up another already.

Earlier: I keep reading Bainbridge even though she seems to have no sympathy for her characters OR her readers. Because there is something fascinating about her. Maybe I'm trying to figure out her MO, I dunno. This is another historical fiction, kind of in the vein of Ruth Rendell, but speculative, about a real murder. Her work is so hard to describe.
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