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Old 01-15-2020, 08:25 AM   #6
gmw
cacoethes scribendi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by issybird View Post
[...] I thought the economy of its prose was stunning. So many pithy and evocative sentences and characterizations! I could have bookmarked virtually every page.[...]
My edition had a preface by Hermione Lee that I rather liked, plus it had an introduction by David Nicholls that I very much didn't like. (Watch me prove that I've read the book by all the quotes and spoilers I can include.)

Anyway, that introduction did have me expect the sparse prose and evocative characterisations - and I agree about both. But I also observed that little of the story happened as I was reading it, instead, significant parts were told to me as having happened. And many of the characterisations had similar problems: clever language, yes, but distant or impersonal, often about people that aren't actually present in the story at that point. That remoteness kept the otherwise promising characters distant, and stopped me from feeling any vested interest in the outcome. Florence may have shed a tear as she left, but I did not.

Perhaps the author wanted the reader to remain aloof? If so, why?
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