Monday, April 17, 2017

A Journey Into The Gothic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    I swear, I don't plan things this way, girls!!!!!!!!!!!  Imagine, reading "Carmilla" and "Lincoln In The Bardo" during Holy Week.  While Zadie Smith might have called Saunders' book a satire--and I can see the validity of her argument--I thought of it more as Gothic. Maybe it was the timing, and my Catholic upbringing.

                                    One thing is clear--this is the first truly great book of the year!  If it doesn't make any Ten Best lists, I will be surprised.  Some of you on here may recall I was not that impressed with Saunders' short story collection, "Tenth Of December."  So, I began this novel, with some trepidation.

                                    It is clear Saunders paints better on a larger canvass.  Though his unconventional approach may put off some. I found it stimulating, but let me also say, I was glad I had recently read Gore Vidal's "Lincoln," before doing so.  It enabled me to fill in gaps Saunders leaves, clarifying his book in a way impossible otherwise.

                                    If that sounds like a criticism of Saunders, it is not meant to be.  If the reader simply goes with what is on the printed page, they will be taken on a disturbing, Gothic journey.  And I must warn you, for those like myself, with a healthy fear of Hell, Saunders offers a prose depiction of it, at the half-way point, that is not for the squeamish.  Probably close to what Jacinta saw, at Fatima.

                                   This is Saunders' first novel, and it is a brave, audacious debut that pays off well.  I will be interested to see what he follows this up, with!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    And, darlings, that Mary Todd was some piece of work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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