Two other (long) novels must be read by Monday, and after those a memoir.
Several parcels arrived this afternoon. Several parcels arrive every afternoon. Today's I opened with every intention of contributing the books inside to our department's sprawling heap. But one of the jacket designs caught my attention. It's gorgeous, distinctive and yet somehow restrained. According to the back flap, someone named Archie Ferguson designed it. Probably he is a big deal. Among, you know, book designers.
Who wrote this lovely new book?
I've loved plenty of the author's early work, but it's been years. She's written books upon books since I last picked one up. Most have been very well received.
What does it take for you to try a favorite author's new work after a long hiatus?Have you gone back to an old standby recently? Was it worth the return?
The novel's jacket piqued my curiosity, but its opening paragraph stopped me in my tracks. The rest of today's mail went straight onto the heap. This book I brought home. It begins:
The gun jammed on the last shot and the baby stood holding the crib rail, eyes wild, bawling. The man sat down in an upholstered chair and began taking his gun apart to see why it wouldn't fire. The baby's crying set him on edge. He put down the gun and looked around for a hammer, but saw the gramophone. He walked over to it. There was already a record on the spindle, so he cranked the mechanism and set down the needle. He sat back down in the chair and picked up his work as the music flowed into the room. The baby quieted. An unearthly violin solo in the middle of the record made the man stop, the pieces of the gun in his hands. He got up when the music was finished and cranked the gramophone and put the recording back on. This happened three times. The baby fell asleep. The man repaired the gun so the bullet slid nicely into its chamber. He tried it several times, then rose and stood over the crib. The violin reached a crescendo of strange sweetness. He raised his gun. The odor of raw blood was all around him in the closed room.
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Books mentioned in this post
Dave is the author of Out of the Book, Volume 3: State by State