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In response to jane napier's review: so disappointing
on 16 January 2011
I can understand why Jane Napier so intensely disliked the name-dropping. I also hated it at the beginning. I was as irritated as I think she was. BUT I actually loved the book in spite of it. I found it riveting to observe a battle between the pretention and the brilliance. When people say it was raw, this was the rawness for me; the fact that nobody told her to get rid of the name-dropping, let it all be there, alongside the brilliance, not just of the language but the terrifying knowingness of Candia's mind. I'd say: read to the end. The second half of the book overcomes the first half where the name-dropping is at its worst. Someone else wrote in their review that the book lives on with you. I found this too. I think Candia's consciousness is utterly worth sticking by, whatever the blemishes. At the risk of sounding pretentious (!) it's like a cave full of treasures and the occasional bit of crap; crap which is just part of life. We all do it, after all. The combination is what I liked about it. I do think she is brilliant, almost whatever she does and is. And with so much plot-driven writing about, it's refreshing to be in the company of brilliance. She carried me through Christmas and that's saying something.