Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Reader's Diary #156- Matt Cohen: Elizabeth and After (up to part 3, ch. 5)

Sometimes fiction is more honest.

Not long ago, I read Carl Sharpe's self-published memoirs Memories: In The Life of A Twillingate Man. While I had enjoyed it, I was disappointed that he had chosen to avoid the seedier side of small town life, for it's not all Sunday School picnics.

Elizabeth and After captures the darker side quite well. From the promiscuous sex to the political grandstanding and intimidation, Cohen doesn't flinch.

Yet for all the ugliness, most of his characters are still likeable. And those that are not, are at least humanized. He seems very intent on avoiding a black and white picture of morality and the story is better for his efforts.

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