Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Chances Are... by Richard Russo

I'm a big fan of Russo, but this one was unsatisfying. For a thick book, it's awful thin.  Russo's characteristic irony and humor lack power. The plots twists in the second half are unsatisfying. The 1960s and early 1970s American culture is not really fleshed out. The three main males characters-- Teddy, Micky and Lincoln -- are thinly done, particularly Teddy. Jacy, their common love interest, isn't vivid to me. The real estate plot line-- part Howards End and part Richard Ford-- is also thin.

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

underwhelming at first, but slowly gathers steam.  felt a little more researched (obviously) than The Underground Railroad.  In the end, though, it satisfies, through a neat and appropriate narrative trick of point of view.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Queen of the Tambourine by Jane Gardam

Astonishing book. What starts out as one side of a correspondence between two former neighbors becomes a deeply lyrical, desperate attempt by the narrator to puzzle through and retain her sanity. One forgets very quickly that one is reading letters, and instead enters a vividly recalled and cast memoir of a troubled life and marriage and mind.