Saturday, November 03, 2007

Run right out and buy Ann Patchett's new novel

Books now read in ’07: 100
Title: Interred With Their Bones
Author: Jennifer Lee Carrell
Genre: Mystery
Date Completed: 10-21
Pages: 416

Books now read in ’07: 101
Title: Cheating at Canasta
Author: William Trevor
Genre: Short Stories
Date Completed: 10-16
Pages: 232

Books now read in ’07: 102
Title: Run
Author: Ann Patchett
Genre: Fiction
Date Completed: 10-31
Pages: 295

There are a lot of mysteries at the heart of Jennifer Lee Carrell’s Interred With Their Bones: Does Cardenio, one of Shakespeare’s lost plays truly exist? And, if it does, where is it? Who was Shakespeare? And, finally, who are the bad guys in this biblio-mystery?

With all that going for it, the reader could expect more than is delivered in Carrell’s diverting, but ultimately disappointing mystery. There are far too many cliff-hangers – virtually the end of every chapter – for my taste.

Who is the best writer of short stories? William Trevor or Alice Munro. I’d voted for Munro, but that’s splitting hairs. They are surely 1 and 1A in any ranking. Trevor’s new collection, Cheating at Canasta, is just fine. Give this to someone who says they don’t like short stories.

Ann Patchett’s newest novel is entitled Run as in run right out and buy this book. It is among the best I’ve read this year. Patchett’s a terrific storyteller and the book fairly quivers with insight and emotional resonance. Flip to page 258 and read her riff on a parent’s unconditional love. Books like this are why I read.

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