Thursday, July 16, 2009

Finished Robert Olmstead's Far Bright Star. An interesting combination of lyrical and brutal, like a more expressive Cormac McCarthy. Olmstead gets loose with the grammar when it suits the lyrical flow, and for the most part this works. Only once did it just seem like he'd blundered into the wrong tense. I'd like to read more of him. The story was smart and vivid; the small-scale battle scene (and the horrors that followed it) was as impressive, in its way, as the ship-capsizing scene in Conrad's Nigger of the Narcissus (my standard for rapt adventure writing).

Enjoying John McPhee's The Headmaster, a brilliantly written portrait of Frank Boyden, the man who ran Deerfield for decades. I'm also deep into China MiƩville's The City & the City. Fascinating and exciting, absorbing and baffling.

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