Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine April 19, 2012 - 6:17am

Yeah, I'm kind of disappointed.

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon April 19, 2012 - 6:41am

Josh - I've heard a lot of people complain about the books length. And I said, earlier in this thread, that the book didn't feel like an Erickson novel until that first shift.

Do you think that the first 3rd of the book could have been edited down?

I feel like that part could have been shortened and the novel as a whole would have felt so much more tight.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine April 19, 2012 - 7:55am

I had no problem with the length, girth, pacing or otherwise. Yes, it is not as 'Erickson' as older novels, but everything that makes him a great storyteller is there. It can't be all inscrutable narrative shifts all the time. That would get boring. (Well, probably not for me, but you get my point.) Some of my favorite stuff in the novel, the great character stuff, is in the first third.

OtisTheBulldog's picture
OtisTheBulldog from Somerville, MA is reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz April 19, 2012 - 3:02pm

I would also agree that my favorite parts were probably in the first 3rd, and then the final 3rd. I would argue that the middle needed to be pared down some. 

Still, all in all and now that I'm done and reflecting back on it, it's growing on me. I don't know if I'd ever read it again (I rarely re-read most books though) but I'd certainly lend it to a friend and encourage them to read it whereas there's plenty of books I'd say "don't waste your time." 

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon April 19, 2012 - 3:43pm

I thought you said that you weren't even sure you were going to finish it Otis. I'm glad you did. I ended up really liking it. And this book definitely grows on you as you think it over.

OtisTheBulldog's picture
OtisTheBulldog from Somerville, MA is reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz April 20, 2012 - 8:11am

I started off fast, got to the bit where Sheba's grandmother met RFK and that really slowed it down for me. But I always try to finish books that I start. I thought there were a lot of really beautiful and thought provoking passages scattered throughout the entire book, it's just that one narrative shift really felt too drawn out (for me) and a little self-indulgent. 

I am glad I read it though. Wish we had a few more people here to talk about it!

(Sounds like May's book will be a fun one. In fact, I'm going to go read a story right now)

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine April 20, 2012 - 10:03am

Man, I feel like Erickson deserves a much wider berth of recognition than he gets. I was disappointed more people didn't read my interview with him (and not just because I wrote it), and am disappointed more people didn't show up to discuss this book. FOR SHAME!

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon April 20, 2012 - 10:40am

FOR SHAME!

And I agree. I got into him when Clevenger said that he loved Tours of the Black Clock. I read Days Between Stations and thought - why aren't people reading him? Meanwhile everybody went out and bought Postman Always Rings Twice (which is also a great book though) when Clevenger mentioned that. I really don't get it.

Amcii Cullum's picture
Amcii Cullum from Columbia, SC; now living in Atlanta, GA is reading currently, several source materials for JavaScript and JQuery April 25, 2012 - 1:22pm

You have my atttention.  I need to look into Erickson.  I was unaware of the creativity in style and plot he appears to use are.  Thank you for this post.