Jan. 21st, 2013

stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
This, I think, is the last bookring that I have coming to me. I will think quite hard before I enter any more, at least for the foreseeable future.

Anyway, I sort of liked this book, but felt that I could have liked it more; it was an engaging story that fell short of 'delightful'. I found the constant use of the present tense breathy and irritating, and never really engaged with any of the characters. It felt a little bit superficial and clumsy. The villains kicked puppies (well, they didn't, but they would have done had there been any puppies around); the protagonist wasn't terribly interesting; the love interest's background was spectacularly unconvincing. I did like the background and the setting; Gruen had clearly done her research. Overall, though, it never quite won me over.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/10382124
stapsreads: 'The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them' (Default)
A rather transparent attempt at being the Great Anglican Novel of the Twenty-First Century (Trollope, Howatch, Arditti...?) What did I just say about the present tense? Breathy and irritating, that was it - and also there were too many characters, and the good ones were good, and the bad ones were bad, and it was painfully earnest in places - and I still devoured it.

It takes the form of a triptych, the centre being a modern Passion narrative, and either side being a running commentary on the services and other events of a London Holy Week. I rather think that Arditti is trying to be a bit too clever, and that he pushes his symbolism and his Message at the expense of his characters. I did find it interesting, in that it deals with one of my perennial hobby-horses, namely, being LGBT and Christian - but really, Rev. did it better.

I know that I will want to re-read this in time, but it's not one of the real greats.

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