6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Wonderfully stylish and literate but left me cold,
This review is from: A Gay and Melancholy Sound (Nancy Pearl's Book Lust Rediscoveries) (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What an odd book. I haven't encountered a central character like Joshua Bland before and I'm not sure I'd want to again. Joshua is one enormous contradiction from start to finish. Successful, powerful and charming to the outside world but dead, empty and incapable of love on the inside. He begins as a child prodigy, though suffering at the hands of an inhuman stepfather, and, over the course of his life, Joshua turns the wheel all the way round until he is himself an absentee father though an incredibly successful and powerful man. That's the whole concept; a look at the minutae of this man's life, there's nothing else here, it's all about Joshua and he's completely self obsessed. Merle Miller writes this book with a claustrophobic stillness, slowness, that emphasises this self absorption and it's almost inevitable Joshua will self destruct, commit suicide, it comes as no surprise. A Gay and Melancholy Sound is stylish and literate but it took forever to read and my main problem was; though I felt sympathy for Josh as a child by the time he's an adult I couldn't abide him and failed to bond on any level. I thoroughly respect and admire this novel, it's a one off, but lacking movement, warmth and tension which meant I'd switched off long before the end. Couldn't give a novel with this much class less than 4 stars but if I had to mark it out of five for personal enjoyment I'd give 2 stars.