Friday, December 28, 2018

The Overstory by Richard Powers

Tremendously moving, tremendously informing. First one of Powers' novels that I've finish, and well worth it.

Not for the faint of heart. It is a BIG book, long and dense.  There are two sides to the novel: there's a third person authorial voice that layers on incredible reams of facts about trees and plants and science, and then there are a handful of human characters who start out wholly separated and end up merging in radical protest against logging and commercial forces destroying the American forest.

The one problem for me is that the tree-speaking tends to dwarf the human speaking.

The humans move at lightning pace, compared to trees which have been around for thousands of years, in some cases.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, stories by Ben Fountain

The Feral Detective by Jonathan Lethem

A bit underwhelming.  Haven't kept up with Lethem, but this is a sort of pale Pynchon-lite story.  The female narrator's voice is unconvincing at best, and sappy at worst.  the-day-after-trump-is-elected setting is invoked occasionally, but never means much.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

The Secret Place by Tana French

Another winner from powerhouse Tana French.  So much atmosphere, so little time! This time the setting is a posh girls school outside Dublin, and the murder on the grounds of a young man from a neighboring posh boys school.  About adolescence, about femininity, about friend, but of course also about murder.

Ariel: The Restored Edition by Sylvia Plath (foreword by Frieda Hughes)

 Expanded version of Plath's larger manuscript she was working on when she died.

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