Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


The ratings:
5 stars  excellent
4 stars  very good
3 stars  good
2 stars  fair
1 stars  poor

Blog stats:

Navigate the site:

Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

Advertise: Rates & stats

Authors & publishers:
I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Carey, Peter: My Life as a Fake | Main | Golub, Marcia: I'd Rather Be Writing »

Wolitzer, Meg: Surrender, Dorothy

  

Printer-friendly page! Use print preview to see how this page will appear.

Scribner © 2000, 240 pages [amazon]
4.5 stars

Thirty-year-old Sara Swerdlow and her friends Adam, Maddy, and Peter spend every August in a run-down rental by the beach, re-experiencing in these regular escapes from real life their one-time college intimacy--that peculiar closeness born of cohabitation and limited responsibility that most of us lose at graduation. This year the cast of characters is expanded: Maddy and Peter, long married, have added a baby to the mix, and Sara's closest friend Adam, now a successful playwright, has brought along his uncommonly handsome new boyfriend Shawn. Their first evening at the house this year, Sara and Adam make an ice cream run. On the way back, a tub of soft-serve vanilla successfully secured from the local Fro-Z-Cone, Sara is killed in a car accident.

On the way back, a tub of soft-serve vanilla successfully secured from the local Fro-Z-Cone, Sara is killed in a car accident.Surrender, Dorothy is the story of the effect of Sara's death on this circle of friends and on her mother Natalie, Sara's life-long confidante, who joins the party at the beach for a weeks-long immersion in collective grief. While her characters bicker and mourn in this sometimes oppressive atmosphere, Wolitzer explores the network of their relationships, with one another and with Sara. While the subject matter of the book is of course sad, the final product is not unbearably so. Readers like myself who shy away from depressing novels need not fear this one.

Wolitzer, meanwhile, as I discovered also when reading her novel The Wife (review), is capable of some very fine prose, rich in detail. Very often her descriptions are spot on, depicting in few words the essence of some banal item, for example, such as the "cool, dented metal surface" of the Fro-Z-Cone counter. Every now and then, however, Wolitzer's descriptions go too far, and the reader is distracted by some improbable comparison:

"Then, during pushing, that two-hour period of time during which Maddy began to hallucinate a roll of theater tickets unspooling from her vagina [okay, that's a bit improbable too, but not what I'm talking about], Peter had seen her cervix open wide, so wide it might destroy him, might swallow him whole, like in some grade-B movie called Attack of the 10-Centimeter Vagina."

The period should have come after "open wide."

But petty complaints aside, Wolitzer is a fine writer whose oeuvre I intend myself to swallow whole, grade-B-movie-like, slowly and with great pleasure.

Tags: , ,

< Tweet it! | Reblog
https://www.book-blog.com/2004/01/surrender_dorot.html
Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Comments




Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In


About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






The Sunday Salon.com



Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.