Thursday, April 26, 2007

A man's man

In one of my many almost-spam emails today there was an ad for Anita Shreve's latest book, and that got me wondering about Shreve. I've never read any of her stuff, and I wasn't sure whether she was more of a romance-y writer (and thus someone I probably wouldn't like) or more like an Anne Tyler/Barbara Kingsolver type of writer. (My cursory research seems to indicate the former.) In the course of trying to figure that out I came across this review in Amazon:
Another Shreve Masterpiece

I may be a man, and not just a man, but a businessman, and the only times that I am not going over a spreadsheet or quarterly report are when I am on a plane, but that is when I like to prop a cheap airline pillow behind my neck, wrap myself in a thin airline blanket, and dive into the latest Anita Shreve novel.

I usually wrap another dust jacket over the book, something with "Success" or "Winning" in the title, but underneath the fake jacket I am unwrapping the lives, histories, and fates of complicated and compelling characters, and I often finish a Shreve novel in tears at the sheer power of her vivid and powerful descriptions of the turmoil within the human heart, at which point a flight attendant or a fellow passenger will ask if anything's wrong, and I usually reply, "These success/winning/business strategies are just so powerful (sniff)... I can bench 200 pounds." . . .
Good stuff.

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