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Twisted, for sure...., Dec 3 2009
I had a hard go with this book. John Irving and I have a "twisted" relationship, in that I love some books (Cider House Rules) and...others, not so much. What put me off from the get-go in this one was what I am calling "editing errors," where was the copy editor when major errors like a contusion the size of a baseball arising on a woman's head...after she was dead!? Or, the use of home clothes dryers in a cookhouse in the NH backwoods...in 1954? Not very likely. Or, no police investigation when a logger is drowned or an Indian woman "disappears." There might have been reasons for all of this--and Mr. Irving strives hard to give us reasons--but the overall effect is of causing us to lose interest or to get annoyed or to wish we hadn't paid full price for the book. Sadly, although Irving does quirky characters extraordinarily well, this book reads like a well-known author who isn't getting the editing he needs and deserves anymore, and it's showing up in the errors and inconsistencies in the text. What comes across then, instead of a seamless quirkiness that is pleasure to read, it reads more like "I have a kooky plot I want to use, now let's see if I can bend and twist the characters and events to fit my plot." When this works, it's brilliant. When it's a half-hearted affair, like Last Night in Twisted River, it's very disappointing.