Saturday, November 21, 2009

Top 60 novels of 2000-2009 countdown: No. 40

Heir to the Glimmering World by Cynthia Ozick

Although she's known more for her short works and her essays (there's one stellar story about a woman accidentally creating a golem), Ozick here creates a fascinating mashup that combines the story of a displaced scholar who fails to fit into the new country -- New York State in the 1930s -- and the son of a famous writer who stole the son's childhood (in the manner of A.A. Milne and Christopher Robin). Does the novel work? It depends on what you mean by "work." The story is endlessly fascinating even if it doesn't all quite fit together. I loved the period detail, the elaborate asides about the scholar's focus of study, a terrific road trip and, sometimes just being in the presence of an author you like (particularly Updike) means a great deal to a reader. 

No comments: