RARA-AVIS: black cherry blues

From: Carrie Pruett ( pruettc@hotmail.com)
Date: 03 Feb 2002

I took a brief run at this one a few years ago, because I had heard it was one of Burke's best, but I couldn't get anywhere with it. I thought it might be a too-much-backstory thing and resolved to try again with the first in the series ("Heaven's Prisoners" I think?) but haven't gotten back to it. I'm not a big fan of the overdescription thing, especially when it's of nature and not, say, a neighborhood in a city where the landscape says something important about the inhabitants; I mean, OK, I can kind of dig those wheat-threshing chapters in "Anna Karenina" but most writers aren't Tolstoy. A poet friend of mine calls this kind of stuff "gratuitous scenery" and tends to make big X's through it in her paperbacks - I don't go that far but I don't often find these passages interesting. Probably one of the things that slowed the Burke book down for me.


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