Thursday, January 22, 2009
EDINBURGH - Alexander Chee
This is a novel that is breathless in its cruelty, yet thrilling in its beauty. It has been a while since I have read slowly, nibbling instead of devouring. These words have the sweetness of raw cane.
However, some can't get past the bitterness at the core of the novel. Fee, a twelve-year-old soprano for the local choir, is molested by his choir teacher. Due to the sequence of events, like dominoes, he becomes a ceramics teacher who wishes to be dead every day.
All right, detractors, I'll admit that the story is overwrought with red herrings and similarities and oh-no-way coincidences. But the writing. Oh, the writing is like listening to Yo Yo Ma or tapping the burnt crust of a perfect creme brulee. Like The Road, you have to read through the pain.
4.1 out of 5.0 Kisses in the Dark.