Thursday, September 29, 2011

did I miss something?

Nightwoods by Charles Frazier
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)
Genre: historical fiction
Challenge: 100 Book Challenge 2011
Review: The action in this story, what there is of it, moves very slowly. For the first half of the book, nothing really happens at all. But then, suddenly, things start happening and connections start being made, and I couldn't help but feel that I missed some sort of catalyst in the narrative. It is entirely possible that I did miss some important bit, but since I'm pretty sure that I actually read every page, it seems more likely that Frazier decided that his readers would take a bit of the action on faith.  In something like the reverse of dramatic irony, characters are suddenly referring to conversations and relationships of which the reader is unaware.

This kind of storytelling leaves me scratching my head and flipping back through the book to see if I missed something. (It also has me wondering whether the author chose to relate action to the reader in this way because he couldn't figure out how to actually write the scene where the critical interactions occur.) Frazier is talented enough to pull off these sudden transitions in a way that's not as aggravating as it might be, but I did still feel cheated out of critical parts of an otherwise beautifully told story.

 FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for this review.

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