Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cutting Through the Pages

I finished Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese!  All told, this was a good book, but not one that I am likely to recommend to friends.  For me, I think that there were two problems:  first it should have been a 300 page book instead of 536 pages, and second, I heard about the end at The Typical Book Group meeting, so I wasn't surprised.

Know that I am not opposed to long books.  In fact, I love books that are long enough to sink into my thoughts so that I dream about them.  But this book really didn't have enough story to justify the 500+ pages.  My friend, Romy, sent me a message saying that her jaw dropped on page 509.  I later realized that she was reading the paperback, and that in the hardcover, my jaw should have dropped on page 415.  It did not.  It took a long time to get to know and like the characters, but eventually it did happen.  I also liked reading about Africa again, and was oddly pleased that the characters in Cutting felt the same way about Khartoum as Achak Deng felt about it in What is the WhatAt the end though, Marion, the main character, does things that are entirely inconsistent with the person who we have read that he is. 

If I hadn't heard about the end of the book at my book group, I probably would have found it more powerful.  This has to have jaded my opinion to some extent, so forgive me for being too harsh on this book if you loved it.

Next up:  After Dark by Haruki Murakami.  I've had Norwegian Wood  by Murakami on my TBR list since last June when I was only reading books set in Paris to prepare for my trip.  What does Norwegian Wood have to do with Paris?  Funny you should ask.  One of the books that I read was The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barberry.  Elegance is the story of a woman who is a concierge for an exclusive apartment building in Paris.  When an apartment opens up, a Japanese businessman, Kakuro Ozu, moves in and takes an interest in our concierge.  As I was reading, I couldn't help imagining that Kakuro Ozu was really Haruki Murakami.  So while my more MILF-y friends were fantacizing about Edward from Twilight, I was dreaming about a Japanese writer who is my father's age, and who likes running so much that he actually writes about it.  Huh.  Anyhow, Norwegian Wood was checked out of my library, so I will be satisifying my Murakami craving with After Dark

Still listening to:  Three Junes by Julia Glass

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