I’m left with this memory from early in the book, when an artist and master of all-encompassing charm, spent a weekend, one lousy weekend, in a stuffy middle class domicile. The withdrawal of charm is a terrible thing. Once you’ve experienced it and then had it taken away. It’s like being thrown out of Eden just when you were getting used to the place.
McHugh gives the reader great set pieces; the interiors of apartment buildings which have been looted or a pharmacy that has nothing left inside, except expired medications. Cahill builds a life in the small corners of the city and observes the dwindling zombie population while trying to remember what it is like outside the walls. Meanwhile he’s sharpening his game on the latest “inmates”.
I think you’d like Turgenev. He is always ironic but he is gentler and less determinist than Chekhov. Sometimes in reading Chekhov’s stories I grow angry with him for not allowing his characters to escape or change. Chekhov’s way of seeing the world around him has a moral significance…
In There But For The, the more you love wordplay, the more uplifting a character you are. And Miles is a master. He writes Mark a letter on what the word and means. The word is a conjunction. I hope you got that because I’m not helping you with it. There is also a fine sentence later on that uses the word the five times at the beginning of a sentence. The the the… I can only handle three iterations. That’s my limit.
What is the root of this assault on the good citizens of our town? Surely, it must be political, the financial state of the world being what it is. Three businessmen attacked equals someone angry about the economy. Until Ray Sorenson, cable repairman; and Sharon Hands, high school senior.
I may have just witnessed a story about how marriage doesn’t work, no matter how hard you try. How many passes can you give a spouse, how many times can you close your mouth instead of saying what is on your mind. This might be marriage. It is not ball gowns, bouquets, speeches and ice sculptors doused in champagne.