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Has Anne Tyler ever written a less than perfect novel?
on 11 August 2018
My answer to the question posed in my headline comment is "No." I confess that I love Anne Tyler. The first Tyler novel I read was "Saint Maybe"; I remember picking it up in a bookstore, started to read it, continued reading as I purchased it and during the train ride home. I literally could not put the book down until I had finished it that evening. The next day I began purchasing everything Anne Tyler had written. Surely none would be as good as "Saint Maybe", I thought. Next came "Dinner At The Homesick Restaurant." Perversely, I didn't want it to be as good, I felt protective of "Saint Maybe" and wanted nothing to take its place in my heart. But it was. It was perfect. I continued buying and reading and falling in love. Next I read "A Slipping Down Life" and when I finished that gem, I knew that Anne Tyler was never going to disappoint me. I was right. She never has. "Ladder of Years" thrilled me. Ditto "Patchwork Planet". Tyler has certainly become my favourite author and I have read all of her novels. I put off reading "Accidental Tourist." I had seen the film and it had become my favourite film. From the superb cast and direction to the magnificent soundtrack and the best closing shot ever, this was a perfect film and I watched it over and over again. Sure, I thought, the novel won't be as good. Boy, was I wrong. Not only was it brilliant but it proved the film to be the best film adaptation of a novel I had ever seen. When I read "A Spool of Blue Thread" (once again falling in love), I had read that Tyler would write no more. But she has (heartbreak over) and her latest, "Clock Dance" is another precious jewel. Her faultless sentence construction, her eye and ear for the most ordinary, minute and telling detail, her ability to create the most memorable characters you'll ever hope to find are vibrantly alive and well in "Clock Dance" and as I arrived at that sad moment of finishing a great novel, all I could think of was that I'd like to move to Dorcas Road in Baltimore, MD. Please, Anne Tyler, keep writing.