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Customer Review

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Novel for Crossword Enthusiasts, 21 Nov. 2008
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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.
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Location: UK

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