Saturday, March 25, 2006

Now I know why Kate Atkinson's Case Histories was so highly recommended. Though Mitchell's Cloud Atlas broke my all expectations for a novel, Atkinson's Case Histories was one of the easier and most worthy reads. For two days, I was held captive by Atkinson's ability to spin a great mystery novel within a family drama that turned out to be four or five family dramas intersecting and weaving throughout. My interpretation of the novel was akin to an Altman film if he did mystery. I don't know why I feel this way. I know it's really nothing like an Altman film, but I couldn't get the thought out of my head. Although Jackson Brodie's the protagonist and we see the story unravel through his eyes, much of the time the reader is led into behind the doors of the families' lives. Like Altman, Atkinson seems to just hover above the action allowing the audience to view the ongoing scene, the characters acting and reacting and by doing this we don't feel pushed or lead one direction or the next. And though Altman doesn't 'tie up' his films in a bow, but since Atkinson's novel is also partly mystery, or detective really (even noir,) she has to tie up the ever important plot. Atkinson had the opportunity to fall into the trap of writing a too sentimental ending, but she was able to write a unique, gut wrenching drama by using one of the most novel ideas (in literature today.)

Now reading:
Gina Oschner People I Wanted To Be

Listening to:
Tom Waits The Early Years Vol. 2

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