Friday, January 11, 2008

A Book Review

Last night, I finished reading my first book of the new year. Most of the things I read come from either the NYT Book Review, or the Village Voice, or from recommendations from others. I read primarily fiction, and am also engaged in a very, very longrunning project of Alexander Dumas, which I read concurrently with newer books. On that front, I'm about to start the first volume of a trilogy which will probably take me about three years to complete. The book is called The Companions of Jehu, and I'll start it after I finished reading The Chevalier of Maison-Rouge, which plots the prison break of Marie Antoinette after the beheading of her husband.

Yesterday's finished book was Matala, by Craig Holden, and I think the impetus came from the NYT. It wasn't a great book, billing itself as a novel of deceit, and reminded me of a great film called The Company of Strangers, with Helen Mirren and Christopher Walken, about the corruption of a young couple by an older one. And the book was engrossing only on the surface, detailing a couple (older woman, younger man) who befriend a young student in Europe and take turns debauching her. But one paragraph grabbed me with its word painting (and if I'm guilty of copyright infringment...):

And then the girl, finally knowing that she was home, could only say, "Oh, God," and their mouths were each upon the other. And then Justine took hold of the front of the little black dress with both her hands, pulled until it ripped, and tore it all away. And as her tongue searched the girl's mouth, she took her nipples between her fingernails.
"Such tits," she whispered, and then she pinched. The girl's mouth opened all the way when she screamed so that Justine could now explore its very depths.

I've written in comments to other peoples blogs, especially toy and Urban Gypsy, vivdly erotic wordpainting shortens my breath a bit, and makes me have a strange feeling in my throat as if it were closing up, almost as if someone was choking me slightly. And boy, did this do it, coming out of almost nowhere in the book, a mild seduction scene suddenly barrelling down the tracks.

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