Thursday, March 11, 2010

Guest Blogger: Another Reading Life

My Friend's Husband has decided to contribute to the blog and gave us a post about his reading life! Enjoy the read by Guest Blogger: Anonymous.

Last Night at Twisted River By John Irving

I am a non-fiction reader. I like facts, ideas, arguments, and dissertations. It takes a lot to get me into a novel. That which springs forth from someone else’s mind disconnected to real world events usually leaves me cold. But take a well researched book with an historical setting, and now you are talking!

I admittedly am a lover of John Irving, though his earliest and most recent work has been less striking. This latest novel captured my interest and held it till the end. The story is a multi-generational tale about a cook, his son and his grandson and their life-long connection to the North Country’s logging industry. The son is a writer and while I feel that novels about writers are derivative and self-referential, I manage to excuse this one (and every other Irving book). Irving has a way of revealing the story to you as if the event already happened and he is talking about the past, although all the action seems to take place in the present. This reminds me of the way a certain friends talks, and it is comforting and annoying at the same time. The story follows first the father, then the son as their lives unfold.

All the heavy emotional events are in there, like love, friendship, revenge, and grief. They are held together by a wonderfully framed story, with the gaps filled in by fascinating details of a world that no longer exists. It is a great read with compelling characters and a vivid backdrop. I didn’t want it to end.

Next, I think I’ll curl up with a nice presidential biography, or maybe a book about checklists.

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