elora reads - the novelist

I'm starting something new here - elora reads. Books are something that get me through the day, and sometimes I'll stumble on one that catches my breath and makes me want to write again. These are the ones I'll share.  4105sIsdsYL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_

"There was always the possibility of being a different kind of creator, more like the one pictures in the old stories of Genesis. A being who hovered over chaos, to bring form and light. A being who could play in the dust and breathe something astonishing into body and soul" (p 71).

I found The Novelist: a novella through Story Cartel. I downloaded it, thinking the reviews (even if they were personal friends) were good and from what others were saying, this wasn't a simple read. It held substance - style - poetry.

Guys. Seriously? Get this book.

It's been awhile since I've read something that captured me so completely despite the lack of forward movement in the plot. It reminded me of the plays I would read in graduate school - the ones with unity of place where so much of the action happens in a singular room or setting. For Barkat's book, much of the story happens in the kitchen of Laura's home - outside of what she remembers as she's thinking of answering a challenge from a twitter friend and writing a novel.

What I Liked - 

Barkat includes social media within her novel and it doesn't seem forced. There's references to hashtags (#amwriting) and real people grace her pages. It's an all-together different kind of verisimilitude. I also appreciated that her ending was a natural occurrence. At no point did it feel contrived or loosely written.

What I Loved - 

The literary allusions. Mary Shelley. Tim O'Brien. Story-truth and literary history and snippets from poems...even a snarky mention of a review from one of her own books. These were the glue of the story I believe - what pushed Laura (and the author) into a new scene and further understanding of the plot.

What You Should Know - 

It's a novella, so it's shorter than most books but it's still worth reading. Also, if you're one for endings that wrap up neatly with a bow, this may not be for you (but you should probably still try to read it anyway).


Tell me :: what books have you read lately? Will you check out LL Barkat's novel? 

Posted on December 18, 2012 and filed under books.