Like Wilbur, I'm a sucker for a good story. I love books where the characters sort of haunt me for days after I'm done reading them. Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch was like that for me. I literally didn't want that novel to end.
In my book bag this evening is David Rakoff's novel in verse Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish. It's, aesthetically, a beautiful book to look at. The cover art resembles a Roy Lichtenstein silk print, and the book (113 pages long) has the heft and feel of a volume of poetry.
Rakoff's verse can, at times, feel a little forced, rhyming "seance" with "crayons." Yet, his characters do stick with the reader. The opening lines of the book are surprisingly moving to me for some reason I have yet to identify:
The infant, named Margaret, had hair on her head
Thick and wild as a fire, and three times as red.
The midwife, a brawny and capable whelper,
Gave one look and crossed herself. "God above help her,"
She whispered, but gave the new mother a smile,
"A big, healthy girl. Now you rest for a while . . . "
As these omen-laden couplets indicate, Margaret's life is not an easy one. She leaves school as a young girl, starts working at the factory with her mother.
I like Rakoff's book if only for the fact that it's so different in style and look. I'm not that far into my reading of it, but I can tell that it's not going to disappoint me. I'm going to savor it this weekend, like a cake from which I keep cutting small slices.
Saint Marty is going to enjoy every bite.
|A tasty morsel|