Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2012 Book 7 -- Deathless, Catherynne Valente

8 out of 10

In my reading so far this year, I have given two 8 out of 10 ratings.  That makes it a good reading year, so far.  For comparison, a 10 out of 10 would be Nabokov's, _Lolita_, or Winterson's, _The Passion_.   So I am giving high praise.

I am not making the effort to give real reviews here.  Just a few comments.  Valente is once again brilliant.  With _Fairyland_ and _Deathless_ she has gotten downright linear.  The language and description are lush and beautiful as ever, though not quite as wildly weird as the previous novels I have read.  And the plot is still like a jewelry setting, it is there to hold up and display the jewels about life an humanity that are embedded in it.  There is no rushing to a cathartic climax or ultimate revelation.

I recently heard someone say about a book, "I loved it and I didn't finish it."  I kind of feel that way about Valente's books.  I have finished most of them that I have started, but it wasn't required, and I think at some point I almost put down all of them before the end.

She writes lovely books that look at life with an unflinching lack of sentimentality, yet are gorgeous and humane.

+1 towards my goal of reading more books by women than by men in 2012.