LitPicks Book Reviews—February 2007

 
Labels: A Lighter Touch

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The Annotated Alice
Lewis Carroll, 1865; Martin Gardner, 1960
384 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
February 2007

Not just for kids. Alice has been relegated to the nursery long enough; let's bring her back into adult company.

For starters, Carroll’s tale is a very funny piece of work. Its cryptic, sophisticated humor—based on logic, math, and wordplay—flies over the heads of most children…adults, too, for that matter.
 

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Bel Canto
Ann Patchett, 2001
318 pp.

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
February 2007

In Bel Canto Ann Patchett uses an age-old plot device which hinges on a group of strangers trapped in an isolated environment. As old as the technique is—it goes back to The Decameron of the 14th century—Patchett's use of it is fresh, elegant and, at times, very funny.
 
Labels: Great Works

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A Dance to the Music of Time
Anthony Powell, 1951-1975
214, 724, 736, 804 pp. (vols. I-IV)

 

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
February 2007

This is an overlooked treasure. In fact, it's hard to understand why Anthony Powell's magnificent opus isn't on the tip of everyone's tongue.

Critics and readers agree that Powell, who died in 2000, was one of the finest—and most readable—writers of the English novel. Actually, the work is 12 novels (called a "duodecalogy"... sounds like an ulcer) divided into 4 volumes or "movements."

 

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