Friday, April 18, 2014
“It is probably not fair to compare C. K. Williams’ prose in All at Once with his award winning verse poetry books, but it does offer poetry averse readers an opportunity to engage with a perceptive and empathic wordsmith whose work they otherwise would not encounter.” —From my NYJB book review. Read that review first. Additional remarks that appeared in a different and now defunct publication begin with the next paragraph.
Monday, April 7, 2014
"David Grand’s third novel, Mount Terminus, is written in luscious, erudite prose so dense his readers have no choice but to read it slowly."
-- from my review of Mount Terminus by David Grand on New York Journal of Books. Additional remarks that appeared in a different and now defunct publication begin with the next paragraph.
Books: in Mount Terminus both protagonist and Los Angeles come of age
From the time this country annexed what was then northern Mexico in 1848 New Yorkers have been moving to California to start their lives anew. In David Grand's third novel Mount Terminus (published last month by New York based publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux) a father and son move from New York to the outskirts of Los Angeles, and the boy nicknamed "Bloom" and his new home come of age in the movie business in the first decades of the Twentieth Century.
In my New York Journal of Books Review I describe Mr. Grand's novel as "written in luscious, erudite prose so dense his readers have no choice but to read it slowly." I recommend the book but only to sophisticated readers; as I read the novel I kept a Wikipedia app handy to look up cultural references.
I first became aware of Mount Terminus when I read an excerpt in Tablet Magazine. But as the novel progresses there is less and less Jewish content, perhaps accurately reflecting a process of assimilation. For a fuller discussion of the book read my NYJB review.