No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Monday, February 28, 2005

#16: Lost Nation -- Jeffery Lent

I kept thinking that Lost Nation would make a wonderful film. Unfortunately it might also be used as the basis for a very bad one. And anyway, the prose is so sharp and vivid and accurate: that'd be lost on screen.

The Nation in question is the Independent Republic of Indian Springs: most of the action takes place in 1838: the book opens with the arrival of a man named Blood and a fifteen-year-old girl named Sally in a small wilderness settlement. Blood is not what he appears, as becomes clear as the story progresses; more intriguingly, he's not what he thinks he is, either.

It's not a cheerful romantic book. There's a great deal of violence, cruelty, bitterness and stupidity. But despite that I felt ... uplifted, I suppose ... when I finished reading. Happy to have read it. Happy to have it in my head, where I think it'll stay for a long time. And jealous of Mr Lent's writing, which has such clarity and originality.

reposted here from LJ in order to keep all my reviews in one place

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