I know my blog here is beginning to seem like a book review site. Sorry about that, folks.
It’s just that I’ve been shelf surfing at numerous branches of my library and searching their catalog online lately. I’m coming up with some really good books to read. I’m liking ’em, anyway. You might too.
- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; Original edition (June 14, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307739856
- ISBN-13: 978-0307739858
I read a quickie review on the NY Times website a few months back on this new kid, Jesse Ball. They were talking about his then current novel A Way Through Doors. It sounded intriguing. I gave it a shot. I wrote about my impressions here. I’ve read three of his novels now, and I still can’t quite describe him… or them.
I stated elsewhere recently that if you dropped Virginia Woolf, Cormac McCarthy, and a dash of E. A. Poe into a blender, you’d have a Ball. HA! 😉 That’s not quite accurate either, though. I think if Salvadore Dali had scribbled ink on paper instead of smearing paint on canvas he would have written in a very similar fashion to Jesse Ball.
This fellow has an amazing imagination. He can write dystopian fiction that really isn’t dystopian at all. You just feel that it is somewhere in your bones. It’s simple enough to write brief synopses of Bell’s stories for the back covers, but it’s an entirely different challenge to actually write something that truly conveys the feel of the story to the reader.
I was commenting to a pal today that I had noticed that there didn’t seem to be any audio book versions of Bell’s novels as of yet. I believe that’s probably due to the fact that his writing style would be extremely difficult to perform as an aural experience. I’m sure someone will do it eventually. I’d be curious to listen to it.
Anyway, about this particular book…
William and Molly lead a life of small pleasures, riddles at the kitchen table, and games of string and orange peels. All around them a city rages with war. When the uprising began, William’s wife was taken, leaving him alone with their young daughter. They keep their heads down and try to remain unnoticed as police patrol the streets, enforcing a curfew and arresting citizens. But when an old friend seeks William out, claiming to know what happened to his wife, William must risk everything. He ventures out after dark, and young Molly is left to play, reconstructing his dangerous voyage, his past, and their future. An astounding portrait of fierce love within a world of random violence, The Curfew is a mesmerizing feat of literary imagination.*
*From the book’s cover.
See what I mean? It was easy enough for some copy editor somewhere to come up with that blurb. It’s even accurate, as far as it can go. However, it doesn’t even come close in reality. You have to read Jesse Ball to know what I’m talking about. I hope you will someday. Why not tomorrow? I bet his books are at your local library. You could always buy them…
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