Friday, February 10, 2012

Nevermore: Believing the Lie, Gilead, D.C. Dead, Rules of Civility

The Nevermore Book Club discussion opened with Jud discussing Gilead by Marilynne Robinson which he described as an “American Gothic.”  An elderly minister is writing his memoir for his young son, so that the boy will know more about the person his father is and the forces which shaped him.  He describes his parents and grandparents as well, so the tale covers three generations and a wide swath of American history but does so in a quiet way.  This isn’t a sweeping epic but more of a meditation and consideration of a life. Several members of the club had read this book and all agreed it was a fine read.
Believing the Lie by Elizabeth George has Inspector Lynley called in to investigate the death of a drowning victim. He in turn calls in Simon and Deborah St. James who set about investigating the deceased’s family. Our critic felt that the book had too many plot threads—some four different plot lines running through the same book-- and was too wordy. Also, the author separated some of the usual characters, which meant a certain lack of interaction.  The book just bogged down under the weight of all the stories and characters.  She added that while the book was still called “An Inspector Lynley Mystery,” she felt there really wasn’t enough Lynley.
The latest Stuart Woods novel, D.C. Dead, has Stone being summoned to Washington by President Will Lee to undertake an operation that can’t be entrusted to a government agency.  Holly Barker returns as well.  Our reviewer said the book got off to a good start but that he didn’t buy the ending. 
Rules of Civility  by Amor Towles  follows the fortunes of three young people in 1930s New York.  Katey, the daughter of Russian immigrant parents, is determined to work her way up in society, while Eve is a free spirit. Tinker Grey is a banker with a somewhat mysterious background.  The book was praised for the way it portrays the glittering New York scene of the time, with nightclubs, jazz, witty conversations, and sophistication.  Our reviewer compared it to The Great Gatsby, and thought it a wonderful book.

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