Thursday, 27 March 2014

Digression: Books I'm Reviewing—Emma Donoghue's "Frog Music"

     Omnibus historical fiction that features...a (real-life) murder and amoral suspects galore, burlesque performers, prostitutes and their fancy men, a cross-dressing street urchin, the origin of the contemporary slang "blow job" (who knew?!?), much actual filth and many malodorous streets, baby farms, an impervious Madame, many costume changes, incidental racism and sexism, panic over a looming epidemic...all in a late-Victorian San Francisco you'll barely recognize. 
   Okay, it's too early to think about a beach book, so perhaps on one of these lazy weekends where outside looks like sheets of rain or drifts or snow you can sink into Ms. Donoghue's clever and fun and serious entertainment.

The review appears in The Vancouver Sun

Friday, 21 March 2014

Digression: Books I'm Reviewing—Audrey Thomas' "Local Customs," Richard Powers' "Orfeo," Lorrie Moore's "Bark," and Nancy Lee's "The Age"

   Time and tide wait for... etc, etc.
   By happy coincidence, most of my assigned review writing was completed before my sister's death-by-automobile.

    The titles (all fiction: three novels, one short story collection) include Audrey Thomas' Local Customs, Richard Powers' Orfeo, Lorrie Moore's Bark, and Nancy Lee's The Age. Click on the link to check out the review. They're all worthwhile reads, strangely tied together by meditations of mortality and the unavoidable fact of death.