Some theatre each day keeps the doctor away…

The Luminaries

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And so I finished The Luminaries tonight, and have yet to decide whether I think certain points of the plot are slightly supernatural or not.  (Spoilers ahead.)  One thinks of Anna collapsing in the lawyer’s office, smelling of laudanum even though she hasn’t touched it, at the exact time that Emery is being given it for his grievous wound.  The transposition of the bullet, too; which, in the court case, was given a perhaps feasible explanation, but the court case was full of lies as well, and what court would accept the supernatural?  I feel, too, that the structure got the better of her at the end – though Part Twelve was a nice ending (one had shivers, which if one doesn’t have at the end of a book, one is usually disappointed).  The subtitles of the chapters got ridiculous, for instance, and slightly dampened the effect of the last pieces of plot being put into place.  And the astrology was utterly lost on me, though I assume it was the framework for a very intricate structure.  (And if that structure was one which required much conforming of the plot to it, then I commend her on having done it so smoothly.)

But it is a marvelous work, and much worthier of the Booker than The Sense of an Ending was.  On the strength of this, not only will I buy her first book, but her next five at least, even if the first four of those are terrible.  (I say that, but I’ve never put it to the test – after all, one rarely ‘goes off’ an author so completely.)

(I should point out that I look for shivers in books that are what you would call more ‘literary’; I’m not looking for shivers when I read Dan Brown, for instance – that isn’t the type of book to give one such a pleasure.)

I currently don’t know precisely where my collected works of Shakespeare is.  This perturbs me.  (It must be in one of the containers on the verandah, surely.)  (But I don’t know why I would’ve put it outside, when I’m so very fond of it, and wish to have it around with me for constant reference.)

I do know where my towel is, though.  (Points for you, dear reader, if you get that reference.)  (42.)

And so to the next book.  What did I grab off the shelf/heater/floor/etc to consider?  Bleeding Edge, The Broom of the System, Catching Fire, The Goldfinch, and Sense and Sensibility.

20/439 in Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

How very unlike Proust this Catching Fire is, in the way it comes after its prequel.  With Proust, you get no help about what’s gone on before.  Here, most of the first chapter is, admittedly, new story and plot, but with constant reference to the rules/characters/situations set by the prequel.  A primer for those who have forgotten, in other words.  Much appreciated.  (It would be much appreciated in Proust, too, but then one wouldn’t have to work as hard, and then one wouldn’t value it as much.  Nor would one be able to wallow as much either.)


Written by epistemysics

November 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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