I just finished reading Jeffrey Moore
's Prisoner in a Red-Rose Chain
. I didn't like it nearly as much as The Memory Artists
. Was it well-written? Sure. I just didn't fall for the characters, or swoon in the depth of insight, or revel in the plot like I did with his second novel. I also found that certain characters in the first novel read like watered-down versions of characters I loved in his second novel: Jacques was a less-interesting Norval, Victor a weaker JJ, Milena a similar Samira (what's with the "Dark Lady" love object?) - you get the idea. Does he have a stock cast?
And I totally didn't buy the ending! (I won't elaborate to avoid spoiling.)
Jeremy's childhood, as well as Milena's, comprised the more fascinating elements. I would have been happier if he'd focussed on those time periods, with a motif of risk, loss, portents, and gambling instead of Jeremy's relentless pursual of Milena.
But I should just finish my own damn novel and stop trying to rewrite those of others!
I feel compelled though to reiterate that I adored The Memory Artists
. One criticism of it was that it didn't need its postmodern trappings of various media to tell its story (articles, diaries, etc.) but I enjoyed that and thought it enhanced the narrative and didn't at all detract from the emotional development of the characters or driving force of the story. But hey, people get squeamish about that sort of thing. Too bad for them.
How about A. M. Homes' This Book Will Save Your Life
? I had to take it back to the library without starting it, but I will get it again. I didn't really care for her Music For Torching
, though again, I can't dispute its well-done-ness. I just didn't need well-written confirmation of how insensitive and selfish people are. And with no postmodern jazzing about!