Monday, November 12, 2012

A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks

Five (apparently interlinked) stories across 150 years or so.  Liked each individually, but didn't feel like the connections.  He can write a story though.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Orphan Master's Son

a staggering look inside a demonic country.  I can only assume that most of it is true.   the very facelessness of the oppressed people is used masterfully by Johnson-- characters are doubled and find themselves vying against versions of themselves created by the state to thwart their spirit -- which I found narratively challenging.  but his landscape and emotional atmosphere is fantatically conjured-- he creates a North Korea so rich in human breath and foible, where for me before there was nothing but a cipher.  Incredible achievement of a novel.  Not even funny, how unusual a thing he has conjured not out of thin air, but out of strange, distant, inaccessible air.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Canada by Richard Ford

Richard Ford's weighty novel on a tragic American family, where the father (a former Air Force man and failed businessman) and mother (intelligent, cynical) decide to rob a bank in Montana.  Point of view is their son Dell, who is taken to a remote prairie town in Sasketchawan and raised by neer do wells.  Very moving, lengthy meditation on childhood, America, human fate and goodness.