Wednesday, October 20, 2004

There seems to be a certain sort of idiocy floating around our reading american public these days with which I am pretty well baffled. I refer to those who think that a novel which is long is badly written just for the fact of being long. I encountered this yet once again today. Just having finished Richerd Russo's amazing novel, Empire Falls, a Pulitzer prize winner, no less, I turn to to see if others were as impressed as I was. You can click on the link yourself, but I'll save you the trouble by saying that one "reviewer" thought it somehow relevant to point out that the book had 480 pages in it, and suggested that My Russo should have hired an editor. It is probably fortunate that most books are paginated as otherwise the reviewer probably would not have been able to count all the way up to 480.

I suppose this is all just part of the short attention span syndrome plaguing our once highly literate nation. Nearly every long novel I have enjoyed had gotten this treatment from readers writing reviews at amazon. For myself I always feel cheated when I buy a short book, since it seems the price per page is much higher. I guess I'm just cheap.

Anyhow, the Russo book really impressed me. My only previous experience with him was the film adaptation of Nobody's Fool, which I also enjoyed quite a bit. Russo seems to have quite a way of seeing into the hearts of his characters, and of writing about a place full of people who seem more real than the people you really know. I felt that way about Robertson Davies as well, which makes this a very high comparison in my book (so to speak).

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