A 4 Million Word Betrayal

By some estimations, Marcel Proust’s  In Search of Lost Time is the longest novel ever written. It is also considered one of the best. Though broken up into seven volumes, with the last three still rough drafts at the time of Proust’s death, the 1,200,000 word novel is lauded as a singular work of “daily epiphanies.” Christopher Hitchens … Continue reading

The Talented Mr. Ripley – First Page

Tom glanced behind him and saw the man coming out of the Green Cage, heading his way. Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley‘s opening has shades of the first page of another book I’ve read for this blog, William Gibson’s Neuromancer. Both books open with a hard-boiled style, dark corners, shady bars, mysterious characters. (See Neuromancer’s … Continue reading

Upbraiding Updike for Wordy “Witches”

“And oh yes,” Jane Smart said in her hasty yet purposeful way, each s seemed the black tip of a just-extinguished match held in playful hurt, as children do, against the skin. “Sukie said a man has bought the Lenox mansion.” John Updike loves the English language. He loves the way words feel when they … Continue reading

A Little on John Updike

Yesterday we starting a new novel: John Updike’s The Witches of Eastwick. If you want to know a little about it, check out this previous post. I first heard about John Updike from a guy in college who had become a night watchman at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum because he thought it would deliver … Continue reading

Book 3 – The Witches of Eastwick

John Updike made his name with a book called Rabbit, Run, which told the story of a man who didn’t get women. At all. He didn’t get them so badly that he abandons his wife and toddler son within twenty pages of our meeting him. We go on to  read about him not getting women for … Continue reading