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« Angrily Yours---Letters from the Yellow Quarter | Main | LBC Podcast #5: Kristin Allio »

Feb 20, 2006

Comments

callie

I am relieved to read that you also found much of the ending, and even the unraveling mystery (if, in fact, there was an unraveling) subtle to the point of vague confusion. Upon two readings, I am not sure that I understand correctly either. I was quite irritated towards the end because I don't like being led into the fog intentionally, and then left there. If Allio's sentences were not so beautifully crafted, I might have jumped ship. I'm eager to see what the week of discussions and interviews brings. I will admit the book still haunts me. I'm just not clear about why. Does it haunt me because it was wonderfully subtle? Or do I just feel I've missed the point altogether? I'm curious to find out.

derik

I should stress, that I was not irritated by the lack of clear closure. In fact, I think it made the novel more interesting to me that I didn't get a clear picture of the ending.

callie

I understand. I didn't mean to intimate that my agreement with you was over the irritation factor. I only meant that I also didn't get a clear picture of the ending. While it was intriguing to you, it was less so for me.

However, I was left with a very distinct impression about a town and a moment in time and a set of people in that town and moment in time. Perhaps the snapshot Allio provides is precisely the snapshot of Garner...at that point in time, during the weeks those events took place. Again...I'm still mulling it all over. I'm trying to sort out if it is enough. For me.

deborah

Maybe calling this book a mystery misses the point. Frances is so much a symbol of a world slipping away that how she dies matters less than the simple fact of her death. The beautifully constructed narrative uses a postman as someone who delivers information (often in fragmented prose that has the feel of letters sent and received) about the changing nature of a town. The book strikes me as more a meditation on the dichotomy of rural/urban life.

derik

I don't know about missing the point. I was more adding a point.

I like the postman as deliverer of information, hadn't given that angle much thought.

I'm not sure I agree about any urban/rural dichotomy. There is almost none of the urban in the book. Even the urban summer visitors rarely bring up their urban life.

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thought least about to the one I think most about.
I now find contemporary settings particularly hard to bring to life. I think this has something to do with the absence of the surprises

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The thing with mystery it is that you are reading throughly to know if you can solve the case before the ending of the book. If you can. the book won't be good enough if you couldn't it is way to complex.

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