"I haven't heard it."
Lockwood is visibly irritated. Why can't he sit beside Perla? he wonders. It's bad enough that the briefcase keeps getting in the way. "I can't believe you are the protector of morality," he says.
As Lockwood's house settles into a routine, beyond its doors signs of life become suspect. This is a neighborhood that empties in the daytime. Husbands and wives drive away to their offices; children are packed off to school. Lockwood has noticed that the expression on the faces of adults and kids is equally wan and harried, as if classrooms and cubicles were merely the cells where penance is to be exacted in compensation for the neat houses with their nice lawns and their rooms full of gadgets. The ecstasy of multichannel satellite TV, games of digital thump-'n'-shriek, cosmic roaming through the web of the wide world, all have a proper time. Staying home during the day is a sign of an embarrassing dysfunction--illness, unemployment, bipolarity, plain sloth.
We went on remarkable adventures, were together at at exciting times, forgave each other a multitude of sins. There's no point in leaving the person after so much because you keep on dragging the life you've led wherever you go.
Was there anything you didn't like about the book?There were a lot of things I disliked about the book, but they were all minor. Of course, I always hate sex talk. I don't care about anyone's sex life, real or imagined, and I'd just as soon skip those parts, although Nolan Keefe's naughty behavior had an obvious impact on his famous wife. I wished Mark would stop making a fool of himself over Perla, although I liked how that turned out. And, I thought the book lost a little steam, toward the end. I'd hoped that there would be some startling revelation about Mercè Casals and there was never any surprise twist -- it's just not that kind of book. After closing my copy of The Wonder Singer, I thought that might not be such a bad thing. The story seemed to end as it should. As I said, though, none of the minor annoyances were enough to stop the book from being nearly impossible to put down.
Recommended?Absolutely. I'd especially recommend the book to those who love a book that is a little different, very quotable, intelligently and superbly written, and quietly (but not ever in a way I'd classify as "dull") paced. This would be a great book for the literature snobs. You know who you are. I recommend it to the rest of us, as well. Just don't go into it expecting a thriller. It's a relaxed book. There's some excitement as Mark dodges the agent and biographer, but never anything alarming.
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Off to make the bed (and, perhaps, climb in it to read),
Bookfool, photographer of spitting birds and avid reader, still hesitant about those electronic reader doohickeys but certainly willing to accept one as a gift, if anyone ever gets a generous urge