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.