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claire.r.foster has commented on (4) products.

This Is the Place by Peter Rock
This Is the Place

claire.r.foster, March 3, 2007

Sweeping across deserts, both real and imaginary, "This Is The Place" hides unexpected marvels. I was both shocked and seduced by this book's ability to grasp such delicate human emotions and show them so beautifully, and with such unrelenting truthfulness.
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(5 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)



The Children's Hospital by Chris Adrian
The Children's Hospital

claire.r.foster, February 24, 2007

"The Children's Hospital" is truly of Biblical proportions, but doesn't quite live up to its own legend. Adrian's characters are finely crafted, and his scenes are heartbreakingly true -- but, in the face of the plot, which overwhelms every aspect of the novel, their delicacy collapses. Adrian monopolizes the reader's attention for chapters without addressing the obvious, and ambitious themes of divine redemption, the Apocalypse, and the meaning of love. As a result, the end comes rushing up too soon, but thankfully doesn't leave a bad taste in the reader's mouth. This is a good story, with all the earmarks of a future classic.
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(5 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)



Saul and Patsy by Charles Baxter
Saul and Patsy

claire.r.foster, February 24, 2007

At once a tender and terrifying picture of marriage, "Saul And Patsy" is a fabulous novel of intimacy in a small town. The finest details of the couple's relationship are shared with the readers, so that the effect is constant suspension between Saul and Patsy, lending a simultaneous understanding of their troubles and their loves. Baxter maintains a beautiful tension throughout this wonderful book.
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(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)



The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath by Sylvia Plath
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

claire.r.foster, February 22, 2007

Although at face value, this book is only for serious Plathites, it soon unfolds into a more generous portrait of Plath's era for poetry. Over the course of twelve years, Plath's writing style changes significantly, mirroring her own advances in her craft. As she ages, and undergoes several serious life changes (admission to Cambridge, end of a love affair, hospitalization for suicide attempt, marriage), her journaling style changes similarly. The result is a written account of her life that becomes more terrifying and streamlined as it goes on -- the portrait of a frighteningly intelligent, hyper-aware, talented woman.

Of course, it is difficult to read The Unabridged Journals without an eye to the final tragedy. Readers with literary inclinations may find it heavy-handed, thematically. Plath often devotes pages and pages to "practice" and can describe scenes of nature at great length. However, this demonstrates her unconsciousness of her own significance. She is not a memoirist, and does not seek to place herself in a historical position. (In fact, this can be maddening; Plath omits important dates, names and events that any third-rate biographer would include.) This is much more a portrait of the evolution of Plath's work than of her persona. A few helpful notes from editor Karen Kukil ease reading, as well as extensive notes and a few journal fragments that are added as appendices.

This is a rich read, a total immersion into the mind of a shy but budding genius. The effect is not angsty, nor too self-indulgent, but a luscious portrait of an artist's coming-of-age.
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(7 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)



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