19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Original and quirky,
This review is from: The Blue Afternoon (Paperback)
Few authors could successfully create a coherent novel by combining such diverse elements as an early attempt at 'heavier-than-air' flight, a series of murders, a doomed love affair, life in the colonial Philippines, and medical advances at the turn of the century. William Boyd is one of those few who can, and the result is an original, quirky novel.
As with all of his books, the writing is excellent, every phrase hitting the mark, encompassing both tragedy and comedy with equal skill. Boyd's originality means you can never quite predict exactly where the story is going. His characters are simultaneously infuriating and likeable, and always very very real.
My main criticism of the book lies with the sections set in Los Angeles, which I didn't think quite worked. It would have been better to launch straight into the story proper and leave out the cloak and dagger beginning, and use a simpler way to relate the ending. The end of the story also seemed a bit rushed and left too much unanswered.
But overall another great read from William Boyd - not his best, but still better than most other recent novelists!