After having read some brief but serious non-fiction lately (see Chruchill post below) I was looking for some interesting fiction to relax with in a comfy chair. I came across a book that promised just that:
White Apples by Jonathan Carrol. This book caught my eye at the bookstore even though I hadn't read any of Carrolls previous works. Something about the book blurb just caught my interest:
Vincent Ettrich, a genial philanderer, discovers he has died and come back to life, but he has no idea why, or what the experience was like. Pushed and prodded by strange omens and stranger persons, he gradually learns that he was brought back by his one true love, Isabelle, because she is pregnant with their child-a child who, if raised correctly, will play a crucial role in saving the universe.
But to be brought up right, he must be educated in part by his father. Specifically, he must be taught what Vincent learned on the other side-if only Vincent can remember it. On a father's love and struggle may depend the future of everything that is.
By turns quirky, romantic, awesome, and irresistible, White Apples is a tale of love, fatherhood, death, and life that will leave you seeing the world with new eyes.
Having read the book I must say that the blurb is a tad over-the-top in its promises (shocking no?) but overall it was an enjoyable, if strange, trip. The plot was a bit hard to follow but the characters are interestig and the prose can be quite good. The first paragraph is one example:
Patience never wants Wonder to enter the house: because Wonder is a wretched guest. It uses all of you but is not careful with what is most fragile or irreplaceable. If it breaks you, it shrugs and moves on. Without asking, Wonder often brings along dubious friends: doubt, jealousy, greed. Together they take over; rearrange the furniture in every one of your rooms for their own comfort. They speak odd languages but make no attempt to translate for you. They cook strange meals in your heart that lead off tastes and smells. When they finally go are you happy or misrable? Patience is always left holding the broom.
There are interesting little nuggets like this spread throught White Apples. This alone makes it a decent read. But I know what you are thinking: was it a good story? Does it have something important to say?