Monthly Archives: December 2009

Marcel Proust, “Swann’s Way”

I really don’t know what to say about this. My Proust project has been pretty much separate from the rest of my reading. I’ve always had an idea that In Search of Lost Time was something that I’d only appreciate … Continue reading

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Lloyd Jones, “Mister Pip”

Very early in this book comes a piece of wisdom from Mr. Watts (also known as Pop Eye, and as “Mister Pip”): “I have no wisdom, none at all.  The truest thing I can tell you is that whatever we … Continue reading

Posted in literary fiction | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Sue Grafton, “U is for Undertow”

In Sue Grafton’s twenty previous books she’s figured out ways to vary her formula: Kinsey Milhone, her private investigator in Santa Teresa, CA, sometimes gets snagged into puzzles with their roots in the past. That gives Grafton the opportunity for … Continue reading

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Julia Glass, “I See You Everywhere”

I really like Julia Glass. I was blown away by Three Junes and though her second book, The Whole World Over, felt like an anti-climax, it was still prodigiously readable. I See You Everywhere falls somewhere between those two novels … Continue reading

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Sybille Bedford, “A Legacy”

“Show, don’t tell” — that’s what we’re instructed, as writers, to do. But after finishing Sybille Bedford’s A Legacy, I no longer remember just why that is. To…. keep the reader interested? To keep the plot ticking over? If Bedford … Continue reading

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Ake Edwardson, “Never End”

OK, I swear I’m not going to read any more Swedish murder mysteries. Not right away, at least. I don’t remember exactly why I bought this one — certainly I have plenty of experience with the genre. In fact I … Continue reading

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Georgette Heyer, “Cotillion”

OK, so I just laid waste to another couple of hours, looking for reassurance. Cotillion is not one of Heyer’s best. It splits pretty evenly between social comedy and romance but the hero is what they call a “sapskull” in … Continue reading

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Georgette Heyer, “The Foundling”/Mary Karr, “The Liars’ Club”

I’d like to say that I finished The Liars’ Club and threw The Foundling across the room because it was insipid. However, that would be a lie. I finished The Foundling because Georgette Heyer is my security blanket and I … Continue reading

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Joseph Kanon, “Stardust”

I’ve always really enjoyed Joseph Kanon’s books, beginning with Los Alamos. He was a big wheel in publishing before becoming a novelist and he learned a thing or two about structure and pacing along the way. But Stardust, as you’d … Continue reading

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