Sunday, September 05, 2010

Rattles in the Attic

Holiday tidings have arrived, toting a welcome drop in temperature and unfurling an amazing azure sky. The antipode of this was two gothic conundrums courtesy of Sarah Waters and Edger Allan Poe. Ms. Waters is rather fluent in the emotional vernacular of rejection. This was the masterful edge of Night Watch. Her use of this argot in The Little Stranger was more limited and, then, there was the other problem. It was one hundred pages too long and it couldn't decide whether it hoped to be a pithy ghost story or a novel of manners detailing class tensions in postwar England. I was hoping for the latter.

That said, Ms. Waters would've benefited by the economy displayed by Poe in The Fall of the House of Usher. Aside from some purple embroidering, the story was a lyrical sigh.


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