Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What I've been reading lately

I just finished The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell and thought it was kind of a mess, frankly.  Too sprawling.  Too many threads left hanging--and not in a good, artistic way.  I've been despairing of late over disappointing mysteries and thrillers.  Part of the problem is that they're just too damn long.  It's hard for a 500-plus page thriller to hold up under its own weight.  The payoff with most of them just isn't there.  What's wrong with a tidy slim novel ala Agatha Christie?

I also just finished The Swans of Fifth Avenue, which really captivated me.  It's maybe overwritten in some places--especially toward the end.  But the imagined lives of Truman Capote and his swans--Babe Paley, Gloria Guinness, C. Z. Guest, et. al.--packed a real emotional punch.

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