|Disbelief that didn't maintain suspension|
|Disbelief reluctant to take off|
|Surprisingly, disbelief remains suspended|
"He was naked and cold, stiff with it, his veins ice and frost. Muscles carved hard, skin rippled with goose bumps, tendons drawn tight, body scraped and shivering. Something rolled over his legs, velvet soft and shocking. He gasped and pulled seawater into his lungs, the salt scouring his throat. Gagging, he pushed forward, scrabbling at dark stones. The ocean tugged, but he fought the last ragged feet crawling like a child."
I haven't read any of Sakey's other books. The Blade Itself, which Publishers Weekly awarded a starred review, is about "a horribly botched pawnshop robbery by childhood friends Evan and Danny." My disbelief's foot is tapping, so maybe I'll take a looksee.
Like Marcus Sakey, Charles Frazier is an author new to me. The appearance of his Nightwoods on a Washington Post list of "Notable Fiction of 2011" made me curious. Upon reading the opening paragraph, my foot of disbelief scrabbled to leave the floor:
"Luce's new stranger children were small and beautiful and violent. She learned early that it wasn't smart to leave them unattended in the yard with the chickens. Later she'd find feathers, a scaled yellow foot with its toes clenched. Neither child displayed language at all, but the girl glared murderous expressions at her if she dared ask where the rest of the rooster went."
Luce has chosen not to let it break her down. When the book begins, it is the 1960s, and she is a beautiful young woman who has taken refuge from life's hard knocks as the caretaker of the Lodge, an abandoned old hotel in the Appalachians of North Carolina. Luce is the daughter of Lola, who had a free-range philosophy about child raising and warned Luce and her sister Lily never ever to cry before she disappeared while they were still in elementary school, and Lit, a bantam-size deputy sheriff who is likened to a mink in a hen house and who has a fondness for substances that make him feel "up."
Nightwoods is a literary book. It's a compelling narrative told by a southerner with a writing style that makes one think of the words "trance," "molasses," and "baroque." Frazier's characters are all memorable, and what they do is worth watching. Sometimes the prose tends to the purple, but I had no desire to stop reading. If you love the woods, as I do, you'll probably enjoy Frazier's knowledge and feel for those dark and mysterious places. I liked the book, and I'm going to look for his Cold Mountain, a story about a wounded Confederate deserter who walks for months to return to the love of his life, and Thirteen Moons, set in the mid-19th century and based loosely on the life of William Holland Thomas.
|Disbelief well suspended|
Disbelief is an unpredictable thing. I'd love to hear about the books that are kept your disbelief suspended and those that didn't, and why.
|Disbelief following a moving plot|