Tuesday, February 14, 2006
I'll give Lethem credit for attempting to play with narrative form in The Fortress of Solitude. However, with such a large novel concerning the same protagonist, Dylan Ebdus, his switch from third person narrator to first person was abrupt. The tone of the novel changed considering the different way the narrator viewed the story. However, the language of the novel also changed, but not significantly. And maybe that's my problem with the narrative arc. Why didn't Dylan tell the story the entire time? Did Lethem think Dylan was too young to carry the story from his viewpoint? Did Lethem write two books at once? One about the younger Dylan and one about the older Dylan? One of the reasons I love literature is that it's the reader's interpretation. No one else's. I know other readers will have a different take on the split novel. I enjoyed it. I highly recommend it. Lethem hasn't disappointed me yet. Though he's older than me, I feel some kinship to him, to his characters and too his New York. That's what makes him a gifted writer. That's why I'll read his next novel. And his next. And his next. Literature is supposed to make us think. It's supposed to sound like the beats of life. It's supposed to move us. At least that's what it does for me and none seem to do it as well as Jonathan Lethem.
Kazuo Ishiguro Never Let Me Go
Sarah Hall Electric Michelangelo
Gina Ochsner People I Wanted To Be
Books to buy:
Elizabeth Crane's "When the Messenger is Hot"