Saturday, October 28, 2006


At the NYTBR, Adam Goodheart makes a diagnosis about Charles Frazier's fiction:

The problem, I think, is that Frazier writes almost exclusively to create effects. He seems to be in love with the supposed gorgeousness of his own prose, a backdrop against which his characters emerge merely as dim figures, without consistent motivations or even personalities. Tolstoy and Virgil — and, come to think of it, Margaret Mitchell — credibly describe human beings driven by ambition, greed, drunkenness and fickle lust. Frazier can’t even get the drunkenness right. When Will is reunited with an old Cherokee buddy, “at a certain point of whiskey camaraderie, we contested to name all the colors the mountains and their foliage are able to take on. ... We went on down the colors, even all the purples, including puce. And the yellows including cadmium.” Now that’s what I’d call a couple of tough old-timers, getting plastered and chitchatting about cadmium and puce! (Unfortunately, they run through the rest of the color spectrum, as well.)

Also worth noting: Alexandra Jacobs on Laura Kipnis (and Jacobs had a hilarious piece in the Observer this week about the Spy magazine book--she's developed a fantastically good voice for this sort of thing, very bitchy in a good-humored way--if you learned that she was about to review your new book, you would be half terrified and half curious to see what she'd say--here's the Spy link).

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