Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What I'm Reading Wednesdays: Sept. 14

For the WWW Web blog:

What I finished reading:

"The Days of the King" by Filip Florian: The story of this novel is wonderful -- a Prussian dentist finds that one of his patients, a soldier from a noble family, is headed to Romania to become its ruler, and the soldier invites him along. The dentist, Joseph Strauss, then begins a remarkable journey through Europe to the out-of-the-way city of Bucharest, where he sets up shot in the German section. Strauss' story becomes entwined in the history of Romania as it rises from the merger of two principalities into a modern nation-state under the leadership of Karl, the soldier-turned-king. The problem here is that Florian's chatty, yada-yada narrative is light on immediacy (show more, please) and includes long, useless passages told by a tomcat. Still, the novel sheds light on a history few Americans have encountered, and Strauss himself is such a compelling character that you'll find yourself finishing the novel despite the verbiage. If the novel had been written in a more conventional(at least for English literature) narrative style, it would have been great.

What I'm reading now: It's a grab bag. Sometimes I'm reading "The Long Goodbye" by Raymond Chandler; then I'll read a few pages of "Miss New India" by Bharati Mukherjee; then I'll read some pages from a literary mystery titled "The Geographer's Library" by Jon Fasman.

What I'll read next: I really need to settle on something -- like "The History of History," "The Borrower" or "The Family Fang," all of which I've borrowed from the library.

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