Novel Enjoyed

You’re probably going to hear a lot about Edna O’Brien’s The Little Red Chairs in the next few weeks. Philip Roth calls it “her masterpiece” (I guess he likes women after all!) and it is otherwise festooned with the kind of accolades that say Significant Serious Book. I’ll leave it to real reviewers to give you all the plot points and thematic whatevers, but let me just tell you that this is probably one of those cases where the tidal wave of hype is justified. If you’re someone who has difficulty dealing with authors who disregard consistencies of tense and point-of-view this one might be rough going for you, but you should plough through it anyway because in spite of those narrative gimmicks there is something powerful that sticks with you for a while after the book ends. I’m not going to say it’s transcendent or anything — it’s a bunch of words some lady put together to tell a story she made up — but it is a book you are a bit better for having read, and how many novels can you say that about anymore? Maybe six or seven a decade. Anyway, if you’re interested, wavering, or just like, “I haven’t read a novel in years because they’re all self-involved garbage, I wonder if anything has changed,” let me recommend this book to you before everyone else falls over themselves to do so. You heard it here first, unless you’re British, in which case you probably heard it last fall when it came out over there. Anyway, I LIKED THIS BOOK A LOT MAYBE YOU WILL TOO.