4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Novel for Crossword Enthusiasts,
This review is from: The Transit Of Venus (VMC) (Paperback)
I also read an article by Michael Cunningham raving about Shirley Hazzard in general and this book in particular. I hated it. As Dorothy Parker once said, this is not a book to be lightly tossed aside, it is to be thrown with great force.
I forced myself to read to the end but I completely agree with another poster who said that the authorial voice was constantly interrupting and forcing her way into the foreground. Every sentence of her highly overworked style shrieks - look at me, look at how clever I am. Meanwhile, her characters are mere ciphers, ruthlessly manipulated to fit into her plot, a plot which was presumably worked out with set square and dividers.
Occasionally I would read a whole page and think - what wonderful writing. Then, on the next page, another arch manipulation of grammar or syntax would make me long for a thick red pen. In the end, I felt I had invested the same emotional commitment in the charachters as the author had. Which is to say, none.