Showing posts from April, 2013

Endless Vacation, by Brad Whittington

Brad and I go way back, but don’t hold that against him. He’s a solid writer, and for the purpose of this review, that’s all that matters. Plus, it really boils down to his word against mine. So he has an out.

I always look forward to his latest projects. Of his novels thus far, Endless Vacationis his best yet.
For those who follow my blog, it won't surprise you to read that I prize convincing characters, similes that smile, and metaphors that epitomize the things described. But if plot is your thing, you won’t be disappointed, either. The twists are as intricate as an angler’s triple knot.
Writers are cautioned against creating flashbacks since such devices can potentially slow down a story. In Whittington’s deft hands the transitions are seamless. The characters’ past experiences are always perfectly placed, brief, smooth, and character driven. By the time I realized I was peeking into someone’s childhood, I was brought back to the present with a richer understanding about his or h…

Speak, Memory (An Autobiography Revisited), By Vladimir Nabokov

My first exposure to Nabokov was in the poorly lit library basement of a local community college I attended a quarter century ago. A handful of his novels stood squeezed against one another on an overstuffed shelf – Pnin, Transparent Things, Glory, The Defense, Look at the Harlequins, Despair. The row reminded me of a three dimensional bar graph. Invitation to a Beheading, dwarfed by the others, represented profit losses in March; the taller bronze one right of it titled Laughter in the Dark stood for gains in April. The titles along the spines ran sideways so that, clumsily, I found myself, as if in some stretching exercise routine, leaning from the hip, craning my neck until my ear nearly touched my shoulder.

A month before, a friend had recommended the author’s most famous, or infamous, novel Lolita. Based on the subject matter, I vowed to avoid that book. But the promise of impressive prose made me tug a random copy (a collection called Tyrants Destroyed and other stories) from it…