Pleasantly written and enjoyable, but ultimately unsatisfying. The primary conflict of the novel is engrossing and well paced, but the resolution was a fizzle. My favorite thing about it was that it reintroduced me to the poetry of LeRoi Jones, which I haven’t read for many years. Also, quite lovely descriptions of the mercurial task of trying to grasp the whole idea when reading TS Eliot.
I returned to Goodreads recently, after an absence of, oh, three years? Something like that. I was shocked to find that I remembered my login information. They’ve made some nifty changes since the last time I was there, and now you can post your reviews to your blog with a click. So I’m gonna. I read this last Sunday (on my no-internet-one-day-a-week program).
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This was recommended to me by the greatest reader I’ve ever known, with the description “It’s like The Hours for boys.” The themes of isolation, mental illness, historical literary figures and love of reading are common to both books, but I’ll revise the “for boys” part of that characterization. The main character is a man, but it’s still the women who hold center stage, and it’s still the women who suffer from crippling mental illness. The archivist is the recorder of their larger-than-his lives. So, well done, title.