Monday, March 02, 2009

William Maxwell and Jesse Kellerman

I'd been meaning to write for some time about So Long, See You Tomorrow, an off beat novel centered around a small-town murder by William Maxwell (onetime fiction editor for the New Yorker).

Some lovely, sparse language and wonderful touches - "...I understood not only how generous they were, but that generosity might be the greatest pleasure there is."

"He died in agony, of a gall-bladder attack, when he was in his early fifties, and the oval photograph, adapting itself to circumstances, is now clearly the photograph of a dead man."

"New York City is a place where one can weep on the sidewalk in perfect privacy."

And so on. Great, pithy, insightful language, and some lovely characterization.

Then I read Jesse Kellerman's latest - The Genius (or, in the UK, The Brutal Art). Many of you know that I love JK's writing. His last, Trouble, was one of my favorite books of 2007. Well this is an even more compelling read - at times staggering. His characterization and facility with language is pretty goddamned remarkable. It occurs to me that were I to excerpt my favorite touches and lines, my blog post would go on indefinitely. So just go buy it already.

3 comments:

Sean said...

Haven't read William Maxwell (yet!) but JK has blown me away. I thought Trouble was one of the best thrillers I read last year. The command of language was frickin' awesome.

Aquaryan said...

I picked up Jesse Kellerman's novel TROUBLE because you posted a recommendation for his book. It was a great read. Now, I will check out the other book... I do not think I have heard of William Maxwell, either.

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