Monday, March 19, 2007

Leaving Cold Sassy and Night Inspector

Leaving Cold Sassy is the sequel to Cold Sassy and the last novel of Olive Ann Burns. Or at least, it is the intended sequel to Cold Sassy. Burns never finished her book before her death. Her editor assembled some of the finished chapters and notes and compiled them in a book with a biography of the author. Only true fans of Cold Sassy would read this sequel. It is fun to see how the author intended to write the story of Will Tweedy, but it is not really much of a story.

You can tell that Burns was in a dark place when she started writing the sequel. The biography section explains why. She endures a second bout of cancer after losing her husband to cancer. She may have outwardly had a positive attitude about her condition, but her writing reveals where her mind was. Her characters all experience disappoint, heartache, and loss. There are affairs, poverty, and abuse. Sure, these types of things happen in real life, but it certainly makes this book much darker than the first. I am not sure I would have enjoyed the second book.

The next book I attempted to read was Night Inspector by Frederick Busch. The author utilized a literary technique that I found very annoying. He describes his main character in bits and pieces of conversation and action, leaving the reader to put the pieces together. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. At least it didn't work for me. I was so confused that I stopped after 5 pages. The author won a Pulitzer for this book, so I am sure it gets better. I didn't have the patience for it, so it went back to the library.

I am now reading: Dear and Glorious Physician by Taylor Caldwell.

1 comment:

Darryl said...

I tend to like books with some dark elements. I rarely like books that give me an icky feeling or glorify a dark view of the world, but plots and characters that present the difficult aspects of life are the ones that get me thinking.