Day: December 24, 2007

The first of Pamela Aidan’s trilogy of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of Mr. Darcy. Two P&P interpretive books in a month? I’m on a roll it seems. This book ends in London not too long after Darcy and co. leave Hertfordshire after the Netherfield Ball. I requested this book based on an LJ friends review of it; she mentioned that the second book should be skipped because it is set in the months when Elizabeth is not present at all. I am definitely going to skip the book because while the book was not too bad in parts, the ending dragged incredibly when Darcy arrived in London. The trilogy intends to be a character sketch of Mr. Darcy and his world which is quite mundane apparently as the end of this book is an indication. The third book is apparently the best so I look forward to that, but I think Mr. Darcy’s Diary is  better than this.

Michael Cunningham’s The Hours is a book that I really liked when I read years ago. I bought a used copy of it last year, but I have not reread it. I remember the beautiful prose, the wonderful mimickery of Woolf’s writing style and Cunningham’s own distinct prose. Specimen Days uses Walt Whitman instead of Virgina Woolf as a common thread in its three stories of the past, present, and future. This a unique novel, with each story being written stylistically different but sharing common themes, settings, and character names. The Whitman poetry and some other props (a bowl, horses) are used in each story as well linking these odd stories together in this novel. I really like Cunningham’s writing. It is best displayed in the first story of 19th century New York, but it takes interesting turns in the last two stories, one of which is almost classic Science Fiction. It is not a thriller or particularly fast moving novel, but I read it quick enough. His writing is not too labourious, but possibly too slow or boring for those who like conventional stories or novels. Definitely will be more of Cunningham as I anticipate any new book from him.