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May 01, 2007



From another another English major (and now an English teacher)--I loved the Hours, too, and like you, sort of againt my will.
Can't wait to read Finn.


Snotbag! Just kidding.

What a wonderful review! I can't wait to read Finn, it sounds terrific.


From one English major to another, I loved this post!

Although I have to say, Wide Sargasso Sea complements Jane Eyre (one of my all-time favorite books) quite nicely.

I've never read anything by Mark Twain though (growing up in Canada, he wasn't as much of an icon as here in the States), so I suppose I should before I attempt Finn.


I put this on my wishlist the moment I heard about it. Thanks so much for your review. I think. Now I have to restrain myself from buying again!


Having only just read Huck Finn for the first time in recent months, it is true that this sounds intriguing and perhaps worth while investigating before the effect of the original has entirely worn off.

Susan Balée

Whooey, boy. Now I know I've gotta read "Finn." The author lives around Philly, or used to, and our book critic interviewed him. "Finn" may be his first published novel, but he's got boxes of unpublished ones. He was honing his craft, obviously. (I've never yet met a first-rate writer whose first book was literally the first thing he/she had written. Oh, it's a craft as well as an art and it takes PRACTICE.)

Someone else who works here -- and reads two books a week, though he's not a book reviewer -- told me "Finn" was one of the best books he'd read in a long time. So, since I used to teach "Huckleberry Finn," I guess I should read this version from Pap's viewpoint.

By the way, I too love "Jane Eyre" and so I've never read "The Wide Sargasso Sea" either. But I feel like I should; it's supposed to be a good novel.

Sigh. So many books, so little time.


Haha...tell me about it! I used to be so snobbish (I still can be) even though I'm not an English major. I was the one who advocated about how bookstores should separate literature from puffy airport fiction. Go figure.

As to Linda's comment, I got a couple of the Thursday Next series but find it very difficult to get into them. So I sold them back to the used store.

I'm reading Gentle Axe, something that has spun off from Dostoevsky.


Hey Lisa,
lovely to see you back in the ether, hope all is ok your side of the Atlantic. Well, one corner of Illinois more particularly. Wonderful review, and if I ever get round to reading Twain, Clinch will be next...
By the by, I sent you something snail-mail about 2.5 weeks ago... has it arrived yet? I don't know how long things are supposed to take to get to USA.
Oh. And does this mean English students can't be literary snobs anymore? Not sure I'm gonna sign up to that one... ;-)


My god--high praise indeed! I shall have to read it.

Linda Gillard

Wow, Bluestalking, Mr. Clinch will be a happy man when he reads that review. You do know how to sell 'em.

I've never read HUCKLEBERRY FINN and was intrigued you think FINN can actually stand alone, something that I don't think (?) is true of either WIDE SARGASSO SEA or THE HOURS. I'm happy for writers to mess with the classics but have to admit I've never got on with Jasper Fforde's literary recycling. The idea appeals but not the execution.


So glad you're back with us, Ms. Bluestalking, and with a typically compelling review to boot!


Somehow I wound up the anti-English-major English major. I'm the one who can't get through Wuthering Heights to save my life, who would rather eat nails than read Moby Dick, who's writing her thesis on...comics.

I love me some play with the classics, and this one sounds right up my alley. I adored The Hours and count it among my all-time faves, and I have yet to read Wide Sargasso Sea...but I will. Oh I will.

Glad to see you back. Missed your posts muchly.

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  • Writer and book reviewer, editor, columnist, blogger, author interviewer and book event roadie. I read. I write. I take pictures. And I am a librarian.

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    • Lisa's books

      The Graveyard Book
      How I Live Now
      The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
      Dreaming in Hindi: Coming Awake in Another Language
      Vanessa and Virginia
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      A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
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