Becky's Reviews > The Great Man

The Great Man by Kate Christensen
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's review
Aug 29, 2009

really liked it
Read in August, 2009

Excellent vacation reading. Intelligent, funny, insightful, and a quick read. The "great man" of the title is a recently deceased painter who doesn't appear in the novel at all; instead, it revolves around four women, all above the age of 70, who figured prominently in his life and are now trying to move on after his death. His wife (now widow), his mistress of 40 years, the mistress's best friend, and his sister -- all of the women in the novel are compelling characters. The author does a great job of making you feel like you're on the side of the particular woman on which each chapter focuses, and the dialogue and spats between them are fairly hilarious. There are some interesting ideas presented about traditional and modern concepts of masculinity and femininity. Despite the "ick factor" of all the old-person sex, I found it very enjoyable, comparing favorably to other winners of the PEN/Faulkner award.

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