Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review: A Sport and a Pastime

a sport and a pastime

This is a novel that on the surface is about an unnamed narrator and lovers Dean and Ann-Marie.

Dean is a Yale school dropout and comes to France for what is supposed to be a short holiday. The narrator meets him at a party in Paris and lets him stay in the narrator's borrowed house in the French countryside (The real France). It is in the village of Atun that Dean meets Anne-Marie and begins an affair which increases in volume and passion until his departure from France.

We can also get a sense of the narrator thru his retelling of Dean and Anne-Marie affair. The narrator is seemly impotent and thus cast his desires onto the couple. Even though there is few direct evidence of the narrator by paying attention to the subtle retelling of the story we can glean a second story underneath.

Beneath that story is stories about love and sex and classism among other things. As this story was published in the 60’s and retains reverences to subtle racism this story is easily dated but the language which is at the heart of this book remains as beautiful as ever.

Salter is known for his artful writing and how to best craft a sentence. This book is full of evidence of that. Not one word wasted and the prose is precise and inflicts the exact sort of mood it portrays.

One gets a sense that in the retelling it has lost some of its glamour or novelty. There seems to be a veneer of dullness that is spread across the words. Like a knife that has lost it sharpness and is now only a dull blade.

Many people love this book for the telling of a principle story but if you ask me this fails to give it justice. There are so many more gems that this book has to offer than just a story about love and sex.

My one complaint about this book is that I wanted to know more about the narrator. I have read that many people feel this way but it is perhaps one of Salter greatest achievements that he is able to disregard this and still have a book that offers so much and does not distract from the story.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Review: Club Dead

club dead

GoodReads Summary: Things between cocktail waitress Sookie and her vampire boyfriend Bill seem to be going excellently (apart from the small matter of him being undead) until he leaves town for a while. A long while. Bill's sinister boss Eric has an idea of where to find him, whisking her off to Jackson, Mississippi to mingle with the under-underworld at Club Dead. When she finally catches up with the errant vampire, he is in big trouble and caught in an act of serious betrayal. This raises serious doubts as to whether she should save him or start sharpening a few stakes of her own.


*Spoiler Alert* I am probably the last person on earth reviewing this book but just in case you haven't read it consider yourselves warned.


This is the third in a series of what is now known to be thirteen books. This book is deeper and darker than the first two books. It like the first two books are all exciting and she is in love then bam Bill cheats on her and things go downhill from there. Well not completely downhill she doesn't get killed but you get my drift.

For me reading about this betrayal was painful. I did not realize just how invested I was in Sookie as a character until this happened. I was so pissed at Bill and this is a fictional person but seriously my emotions were as if they were real. Then when I started trying to tell Sookie to not mess things up more by getting involved with Eric, I knew I have become a die hard sookie fan. I will now order ALL books from my library.

In all seriousness though this book takes a darker turn. There is almost no sex in this book and there is Bill who decides to take up with his ex. I liked how this book explored that relationship. The author captured the emotions that are inherent in a betrayal.

Even though I was rooting for her not to I also liked how she showed how the “chemistry” was between Sookie and Eric. It made sense in that she was hurting over Bill to want to betray him back but she doesn’t all the way.

This not “great works of art” by any means but like a good candy bar it is hard to resist. It is great to read between more substantial books.

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