Monday, August 04, 2008

a little more

crossing california
-adam langer

i read a brief review of this book and it disappointed me. i don't really review books, and i probably don't do a good job of explaining them, but i do recommend books, and you should read this one. spanning the transition between 70s and 80s, carter and reagan, it introduces us to several mostly jewish chicago teens and their parents. there's a trick of narrative overlap where one character will experience something and we soon bump up against the same event from a different point of view. i started wanting to become friends with these people, which says something about me and about langer's ability to write. he's good at it, and i like clever people. the best thing is that all the characters are flawed, and many of them are appealing for different reasons. i think generally if you know most people well enough you'll like them; langer has made sure i like his characters by giving me enough insight into the soul of several of them that i can excuse their shortcomings. 'half of a yellow sun' was good for the same reason; in that novel, most of the main characters had done something fairly awful, yet they retained their appeal.


seth said...

honestly, i don't tend to try very hard when i write about books. i just want people to know which ones are worth reading. i hope that's not too annoying.

mj said...

hey you did a good job of selling this one. i might just pick it up now that i'm beginning to trustmyself with the library again.