Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Literary Blog Hop

Literary Blog Hop


I received an email today alerting me to the Literary Blog Hop at The Blue Bookcase, the "book review blog for bookish people.  To play along, you are encouraged to discuss the following:   Please highlight one of your favorite books and why you would consider it "literary.  Since most of what I read (with some exceptions) I would consider literary fiction, this seems to be right up my alley.  



My choice is Damon Galgut's In a Strange Room.  I would consider it as literary fiction -- it is a beautifully-constructed series of three smaller novellas encompassed within one book, and although each story is different, there are several unifying themes that link them all together. The titles of each novella not only reflect a role taken on by one of the characters in the context of the individual story, but as the narrator notes, they are the primary roles he's discovered exist in most relationships.   The tone established in the writing of the book as a whole is definitely understated, allowing the stories  to project the powerful emotion of the narrator across the novel.  As I noted in my review of the book, the narrator relates his story often as if he's watching himself from another vantage point,  so that sometimes he's speaking in the first person, and the telling changes to a third-person narrative, where "I" becomes "he."  It is a delightful reading experience and although not packed full of action, it's definitely a powerful novel.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Nancy O! This sounds like a wonderful book--I'm going to add it to my list. I've really enjoyed hearing about the various books on this literary blog hop. This is a new discovery for me....

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  2. In a Strange Room sounds like my kind of novel- prize-worthy writing with an international scope? Sign me up! I'm also curious about the shifting P.O.V.
    So thanks for introducing me to this book, and thanks also for participating in our Literary Blog Hop.

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  3. Thanks! It really is a beautiful book. And Christina: is this a weekly feature?

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  4. One of the things I love most about visiting bloggers that read literary works are the surprise books I discover along the way. Small books that have been often overlooked.

    Here's mine:
    http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2010/11/literary-blog-hop.html

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  5. Great post, and thanks for participating in our hop!

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  6. readerbuzz: thanks for the link! Galgut's book was actually on the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize this year -- or I probably would have overlooked it myself.

    ConnieGirl -- thank you, and I appreciate being part of your hop! I am always looking for blogs that deal with literary fiction -- I'm a bit of a reading loner sometimes.

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  7. The book sounds interesting, thanks for highlighting it. It has been great weekend for adding more blogs and more books to my list. :)

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  8. I will check this one out since it appears that you loved Lolita, which I just finished and adored. Cheers!

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  9. Melody: thanks for coming by! In a Strange Room hasn't got much press at all in the US, but I think Europa Editions is coming out with an edition here shortly (or it's already out...not sure).

    Shellie: Loved Lolita! IMHO, it's probably one of the most misunderstood books ever ... and as I noted, it's probably misunderstood the most by people who've never read it!

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  10. Bibliophiliac -- Hi back! How the heck did I miss your post??? Thanks for coming by!

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