Monday, February 13, 2012

The Color of Night by Madison Smartt Bell


Bell's Haitian novels are tremendous documents, exciting and soulful and desperate and dark. This slight novel, though, was disappointing to me. It seems to want to be his Don Delillo move, or even TC Boyle, but it had no power. The deranged former hippy chick obsessed with the twin towers falling, journeying back to her abusive childhood where she was raped by her brother from when she was 11 to 14, to her years as a drifter in the 1960s in Airzona and points west, and the Haight and LA, a sometimes hooker and then member of cult not unlike Charles Manson's storied Family: it sound melodramatic and pitch-friendly, like Bell thought it would be a movie on a page. But it's not. It stays on the page.

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