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A Density of Souls

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Finishing Christopher Rice’s first novel, A Density of Souls, was a chore partly because of the awkwardness with which he mishandled words. If a word arrests the reader’s attention, it detracts from the sentence and the work as a whole. Rice made some strange verb choices. He seemed enamored with “cock” and “splay”. Why his editor allowed a character to have “splayed” her napkin is a greater mystery than the one miscarried by the plot. On the plus side, he captured the tone of youthful gay relationships. He offered a titillating peek into the world of boyish mutual masterbation and an obligatory coming of gayness story. I was disappointed at the lack of New Orleans setting descriptions, considering his best-selling mother Anne Rice’s lush descriptions of The Big Easy. If I read one more explanation of how the high water table prevents ground burials there, I think I’ll scream. It was utterly irrelevant to this book. Still, it is a first novel that was published, and more books have followed quickly.

Find more reviews at Georganna’s Writer’s Edge.

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About Georganna Hancock

Retired San Diego publisher, journalist, freelance editor and writer, blogged almost daily for eight years at A WRITERS EDGE. She helped writers on the path to writing success with critiques, edits and publishing advice. Find her author page on Amazon and her tweets on Twitter, where she's aka @GLHancock. Georganna's first writing appeared in print in the 1960s. She worked as a journalist for many years. She reviewed books for the FORT PIERCE NEWS TRIBUNE and THE LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL and wrote for THE MIAMI HERALD, regional publications, and many national magazines. She was a member of the National Book Critics Circle, the San Diego Professional Editors Network and the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild, for which she served as Web Manager. Books reviewed may have been received as gifts. All her writings are protected by U.S. copyright law.
  • Thanks for the review – I am interested in browsing the book only to compare writing styles between mother and son. Poor writing could perhaps have been addressed with a better editor?

  • Eric Olsen

    though compact, very pithy and explanatory review Georganna, thanks and welcome!