Prufrock's Page

Sunday, October 23, 2005

One And A Half Lives

Though there's a great deal to like in Vikram Seth's Two Lives, there's no denying that the book would have been aided by careful editing. Sections such as those dealing with Germany's role in the world come across as essayistic set pieces, not entirely adding to the fabric of the whole. In The Washington Post, Jonathan Yardley makes much the same point:

"[T]here is a bit too much of a good thing in the central part of the book, where Seth tells Henny's story and those of her mother and sister. Those papers in the attic may have been a 'trove,' but Seth makes too much of them. The section is too long by half, with too much quotation from letters that are not as interesting to the reader as they are to Seth. Probably Holocaust stories will never -- should never -- lose their power to shock and move us, but this one would have been told better if it had been told more briefly."


Post a Comment

<< Home