I feel the need for a literary cleansing. I 'finished' The Casual Vacancy a few days ago, and by finished, I mean skipped a whole bunch and read the last 10 or so chapters. Which confirmed that I didn't miss much in the chapters I skipped. I swear it's really not my style to skim read, but I just could not wade through this book. I found many positive reviews online but I just don't get it. I don't want to ruin the book for anyone, especially since we will be discussing it at our book club soon enough but I would like to point out that many 'positive' reviews start with a negative: 'I disagree that the book has too many characters'. I think it sounds a little too much like an admission that it does in fact, have too many characters.
With The Casual Vacancy out of the way, I was free to start another recent addition to my kobo selection: The Sisters Brothers by Patrick Dewitt. This book has been on my top recommended on Amazon and Chapters for months. Regardless of the old adage "don't just a book by it's cover", can I just say the cover is super cute? This book reads fast; it has short chapters and the cadence of the writing makes you want to just keep going. I started it two days ago and I am already past the 30% mark, the percentage where I was painfully stuck while reading The Casual Vacancy. I have no idea how to define the genre of The Sisters Brothers. It's part western, part crime fiction, part comedy. The author has a style reminiscent of Elmore Leonard or even George Pelecanos (King Suckerman). His prose is rhythmic, like poetry but juxtaposed with the vulgarity and gruesome harshness of a Western setting. The Sisters Brothers has inspired me; I will definitely add an Elmore Leonard Western genre to my must-read list. In the meantime, here's hoping The Sisters Brothers finishes as strongly as it begins.