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Saturday, June 4, 2016

City On Fire, Reviews, and Our Male-Centered Literary World

I am not comfortable on a soap-box, plus I am enjoying reading City On Fire, but as I thought about the Sleeping Beauty plot that is the center of the novel, I did wonder why I haven't read about that in any reviews. 

Many of them mention the appealing teenaged boy. (Charlie, who is not my cup of tea, but then no character will be everybody's, right?) Many also mention the fact that all the inner voices sound the same, from Keith, the good-looking dim-bulb who still thinks of "the musique concrete" of jackhammers, to said red-headed Charlie, to the highly educated Regan, Keith's wife. (Nice choice of name, though she is starting to sound more like a Cordelia than a Regan.) 

Nobody, though, talks about how few of the many voices are female, or that danged Sleeping Beauty female, Samantha. Yes, we are very briefly in her head at the beginning of the novel, but otherwise, we get to know someone who might be a fascinating character as the crush of, the mistress of, the daughter of, or the journalistic object of, while she lies first shot in Central Park (female as victim) and later, horizontal and possibly brain-dead in a hospital. 

What gives, reviewers? Didn't anybody notice this? Frank Rich? I trusted you. . .

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