A blog about the intersection of books and life.
Sven Birkerts disagrees with you: http://www.latimes.com/features/books/la-bk-birkerts27jan27,0,1412102.storyThis may be a good thing.Best wishes,Brian
But Michiko agrees: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/29/books/29kaku.htmlHow did things go so wrong? Perhaps part of the problem stems from the patched-together genesis of this novel — a novel, as Mr. Banks said in notes included in reviewers’ galleys, that had several real-life antecedents. He wrote that the book’s hero, Jordan Groves, was “based loosely” on “the flamboyant leftist artist, Rockwell Kent,” and that his heroine, the dangerously troubled Vanessa Cole, evolved from his interest in Hemingway’s affair with a socially prominent and emotionally unstable woman who became “the model for the darkly vengeful wife” in “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” and the distant widow in “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.”The violent death and the destructive fire that cap this potboiler of a story apparently grew out of local Adirondack gossip that Mr. Banks once heard, while the references to one character’s fate in the Spanish Civil War and another’s in the Hindenburg disaster grew out of his historical research into the period.In cobbling together these elements, Mr. Banks has struggled to concoct a plausible narrative, almost randomly threading one colorful incident and set piece after another onto a slender string.
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