23 marzo 2009
Books I Liked
Por "la famosa escritora norteamericana"
TREE OF SMOKE. Denis Johnson
624 pgs. Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2007)
"I was very disappointed. I'd read Angels years ago and had wanted to get back to Johnson. My qualms are not with the writing--Johnson is a gifted stylist and you must be careful not to gloss over certain passages or paragraphs which are dense philosophical insights wrapped in great prose and at times poetry. Nor with the politics--those dismissing the book for its lack of aviation verisimilitude or because it wasn't as good a Vietnam book as some others, are evaluating an apple as an orange.
My disappointment is with the characters and the plot. This is at heart an intellectual work: it ruminates and dazzles, but the characters remain distant and abstract, and each time I became caught up in a subplot, it would be discarded. It was a novel that made me think--but I also wanted to feel.
Skip Sands is the fulcrum around which the novel moves, but I never was able to fully grasp his character--or care about him. And, while he thinks a lot, he doesn't do very much.
Take my review, however, with a grain of salt. I've seen some reviewers refer to Tolstoy, and I have to admit, I felt the same way about Sands as I did about Pierre in War and Peace."