22 December 2010
Contrarian Book Reviews (with parenthetical jibber jabber)
In the vast, wide world of reading, there is room for infinite points of view. (What else could explain James Patterson?) And even within the much smaller world of book-bloggers whose reading tastes align with my own there is room for much diversity.
The second sacred cow I will poke in the eye, is one of my own making. As a lover of all things Whipple, I was disappointed by her novel Someone at a Distance. My previous experiences with High Wages and The Priory were fantastic. And I liked her short stories in The Closed Door even more. As I mentioned in my review, I think Whipple's plot arcs are much better in her short fiction. She sometimes has problems with plot in longer fiction. She doesn't so much as lose the plot in her novels as compress a whole lot of action into too short a period. I liked HW and TP so much that, while I noticed it, it didn't bother me. Not so with Someone at a Distance.
As awful a human being as she was, I am far from believing that Louise was the villain of the book. They all played their role in the destruction of their lives.
I probably don't dislike this book as much as I am making it sound. I would still probably give it a 6 out of 10. But I think what puzzles me is why it is such a favorite Whipple, so much so that it is a Persephone Classic. And fear not, I am still a faithful member of Team Whipple. But as with everything in life, one must realize that even our heroes are fallible.