Monday, December 29, 2008

What Am I Reading?

I'm not sure why I always feel compelled to state what I am reading. If you look at the photo, it is quite obvious that I am reading "Shadow Country" by Peter Matthiessen. Okay, you may remember me attacking this book here, but I amended my previous statements regarding the validity of this novel winning the 2008 National Book Award for fiction. Let's not dwell in the past.

I have a tendency of finishing rather long books, only to be relieved for a day or two before I begin reading yet another long book. Shadow Country is 892 pages (by my count, but let's remember that I am terrible at math; however, I do know that 1/2 of 1/5 does not equal 1/4; esoteric) and is technically three separate, but connected, books. Being that I am only 75 pages or so into the book, I can't tell you much except that the story telling is amazing.

Matthiessen has a gift for giving [seemingly] accurate voices to his characters. In Book I, there are testimonials from several different characters, many of whom I am having difficulty keeping track of, about their lives in the Everglades and Mr. Watson (who is killed at the beginning of the actual story). If you think I just spoiled the plot for you, think again. When these books were originally published individually in the 1990s, the first book was titled, "Killing Mr. Watson". There are no spoilers here.

Anyone with a penchant for early 1900s southern story telling (written in the vernacular as well) will enjoy this book. And if it doesn't sound interesting to you, you should read it anyways.

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