Wednesday, March 25, 2009

20. Farther Along, a novel by Donald Harington. A Stay More book. There are a handful of Harington novels that stand out as rivaling just about anything I've read, in terms of structural inventiveness, engaging characters, and flat-out storytelling. The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks; With; Some Other Place, The Right Place; Butterfly Weed, maybe. This one isn't on the level of those, but it's still a fine book. I could say something trite like that Harington is getting older, but With is a recent book, and Farther Along rivals (and surpasses) many of his earlier novels. Some stories are quieter than others, that's all. Farther Along is a good read, but if it's your first Harington novel, you should probably start at the beginning and work your way up.

21. City of Names, a young adult novel by Kevin Brockmeier. Brockmeier has his moments, but this isn't one of them. The idea behind this book is solid, but the execution felt incomplete.

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