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Sierra Hahn, Cameron Stewart
The Old Gringo
Carlos Fuentes, Margaret Sayers Peden
Branch Cabell James Branch Cabell
White Apples
Jonathan Carroll
Tarzan of the Apes
Michael Meyer, Gore Vidal, Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Dead of Night: The Ghost Stories of Oliver Onions (Tales of Mystery & the Supernatural)
Oliver Onions
Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1)
Marcel Proust, C.K. Scott Moncrieff, Terence Kilmartin, D.J. Enright
The Land of Laughs
Jonathan Carroll
Voyage Along the Horizon
Javier MarĂ­as, Kristina Cordero
Palm-of-the-Hand Stories
J. Martin Holman, Lane Dunlop, Yasunari Kawabata
The Blithedale Romance - Annette Kolodny, Nathaniel Hawthorne the three stars are all for the consummate writing skill that hawthorne commands, but with this novel i've come to realize i don't really like his novels. i like his short stories, and i think he was attracted to that form, in his time a new one that he helped define in the US, because i feel he chafed against the conventions of the novel in his day. as with what i experienced in reading the house of the seven gables, the prose of the blithedale romance is dense, molasses thick, and while artful, a strain to my attention span.

even when the characters dialogue, it is work because their conversations are peppered with so much contemporary content without being contextualized -- the stuff about fournier here required more than any footnote provided in my edition, for example, i had to go do some serious research to understand the protagonist's allusion to him -- all he mentions is turning water into lemonade, not fournier's attitude toward open sexytimes which is what the other character hollingsworth, a religious conservative, is ostensibly responding to... i have to read all these words, and then do all this research to understand them? it made my brain hurt, but not in a good way.

and while i was happy to finally read about zenobia, a character name that has long haunted me, in the end, i just found it all very tiring. so i will continue to admire the hell out of hawthorne's abilities as a writer, and love his short stories, but i don't think i'm going to go out of my way to read any more of his novels. i think i'm too modern, and too impatient for them.