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There’s a strange sense of pleasure I get from reading Tom Perrotta. Although his novels have an entertaining, gossipy, and voyeuristic quality, they have substantial substance at their core. They are at once laugh-out-loud funny and acerbic social commentaries. In his latest novel The Leftovers, the world has experienced a rapture-like phenomenon. Millions have disappeared, and those remaining are left to piece together their lives.
The first thing one notices when reading Julian Barnes’ Man Booker Prize winning novel, The Sense of an Ending , is the impossible elegance of the writing. Henry James elegant. The subject matter certainly lends itself to the tasteful, somber, sometimes playful writing.
This was one I wanted to read again the moment I finished it – indeed, as I was reading it, I wanted to read it again, if that makes any sense. It clips along at a galloping good pace, with excellent dialogue, oddball yet believable characters, and some of the funniest scenes I’ve read related to family and class, ever. Good show!
I recently heard a fascinating interview on NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross” program with author Scott Spencer. He spoke candidly and thoughtfully about his latest book A Man in the Woods which focuses on a man on a hunting trip who accidentally kills another man. Aside from one of Gross’s personal idiosyncrasies (her penchant to utter dryly ‘that’s funny’ rather than simply chuckling when she finds something humorous) there was something else that I couldn’t ignore.
When God was a Rabbit is a book as entrancing as its title. A coming-of-age story that spans four decades, the book left me dizzy, trying to reconstruct the narrator’s childhood as it was told in fragments and limited by perspective. This is an amazing way to write domestic fiction, because that is how we all really experience family. Who hasn’t begun recalling a family story only to discover that your version is completely different than that of your sibling’s?