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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
Mr. Peanut - Adam Ross i think this is the book i've recommended most this year, aside from Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day, but all the same it's taken me a while to get to this review. i think that's because however much i enjoyed this book, it puzzled me, and i really wanted to solve that puzzle, to understand what the author was doing as he drew me in. i got to very close to the end of the novel and a statement was made that i took to be a key, so i went back to the beginning and start reading again, in hopes of revealing its pattern. the key did seem to fit at the beginning but as i drew back to the point i'd discovered it, and beyond that page, i realized it wasn't going to give me what i wanted. there is a lot to love about this novel: it's brave, and smart, and thoughtful. i was completely involved in this clean and beguiling prose. i didn't get the women, really, or the marriage, in fact i often found them frustrating, but i've never been married, and i've never been a typical girl, so that's probably explanation enough for that -- i think these portrayals would be more recognizable to others. i loved the allusions and refractions of hitchcock films within the book and they added tantalizing layers to the already intricate premise.

i think ultimately the intricate premise of the novel, and its structure prevents me from giving this book a five star review. i compared its difficulties to those i see in the tolkien's lord of the rings (which bogs down in the middle) and i think i stand by that. the novel describes with detail three sets of marriages, and while i was engaged in all the narratives, i think i stayed too long in the third to be able to shake it in quite the way i ought, for the novel to fully succeed for me, by the time i was again returned to the first. of course, i will also say that when i read lord of the rings in its original seven volume set (rather than the current three book configuration we all know so well) i did not find it as difficult to readjust my interest or inclination, so perhaps mr. ross can arrange for a seven book collector set someday. :)

this novel is an exploration of love and marriage, wrapped up in a puzzle, and well worth reading even if, like me, you have still have questions when you close its cover.

p.s. i still think it has a lot to do with the flitcraft story. but then, i think almost everything worthwhile does. :)