Colm Toibin’s latest novel, Brooklyn.
My fourth-read Toibin book, and I have loved them all, including this one.
However… this one was different.
For a while I felt as though I was watching Little House on the Prairie! He is so laid back in this thing. I mean… Toibin is a dynamic writer, and it just seems that he is ski-ing down the hill sideways on this one.
UNTIL YOU GET TO ABOUT PAGE 180 [of a possible 262].
Eilis [← love that name] is this Melissa Gilbert-type character that moves from Ireland to America.
It’s the 1950’s [or thereabouts].
It’s not only that nothing eventful seems to happen, but it’s the style that seems to be so [deliberately?] downplayed.
Toibin is one of my favorite writers, really he is. I know that he can be as deep and elaborate as Ian McEwan. It seems that here in Brooklyn, though, he adopted a real down-played style of writing. And yet, it kept me interested.
At times, it was like he was reporting. It was downright Hemingway-esque in its unpretensious journalistic factitiousness. [← Does that even make sense?]
Tolstoyan reality, with Ernest at the keyboard.
But see. I LIKE reality. [And Hemingway, for that matter].
So I liked this book.
And as I say, from page 180 onward, it really picks up.
Several times I had to put the book down, think about my own life.
Wipe my eyes.
To me, that’s always a sign of a good book!