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jgoody

Book Goodies

The act of writing always creates something of value. When I'm reading, it is the various manifestations of that inherent and powerful value that I'm looking to capture and share with my fellow book lovers.  

 

 

From humble days as a bookseller in Colorado, I now live in NYC and work for one of the big publishing houses. I'm always reading a huge variety of books, but you're bound to find more reviews on titles that might not be on every bookstore's shelf quite yet! 

 

And I must also say that it is immensely important to support independent bookstores. Definitely consider shopping with your local bookshop if you don't already!  

If you're looking for one then check out the great store I used to work at:

oldfirehousebooks.com

It's quick, but it's good.

The Sunset Limited: A Novel in Dramatic Form - Cormac McCarthy

It’s hard to call this a novel, but the cover does claim it to be a “novel in dramatic form,” so I’ll just go along with that.  You’ll find your classic bits of sparse punctuation and depressiveness in this work.  It’s a very quick read that is essentially a powerful and complex conversation between the two characters, Black and White.  There are a few ways to interpret this choice of naming, but to make this summary easy, one is a stubborn white man, and the other is a stubborn black man, which keeps the conversation tense and intriguing. 

 

The setting is Black’s apartment.  It is quickly revealed that White is suicidal, and Black, as a man of God, takes it upon himself to converse with White to change his mind about living.  There are a miraculous number of topics covered in this brief novel of dialogue.  I actually enjoyed it very much.  Several times I reread various passages and found myself thinking in new ways.  For example, their discussion on religion felt honest, and it actually had me considering a few new perspectives in areas that have felt very solid and settled to me in the past. 

 

McCarthy isn’t a man known for writing in abundance, but I still wish this had been longer.  I felt very caught up in it.  The ending could only go two ways, but I’m not sure that I felt ready for it when I got there.  The conclusion honestly hurt my opinion of the book.  I hoped for an ending as fulfilling yet ambiguous as John Carpenter’s film, “The Thing” (yeah, I know that sounds a little ridiculous but I can think of no better comparison for the conclusion I wanted), but that just wasn’t there for me.  Still, this is some of the better dialogue I’ve read in a while, and I do love my dialogue.  A whole novel of dialogue feels great, which makes me wonder why I don’t read plays more often.  Maybe it’s time to start.  Point of the reviewing being that this one is worth a read.