Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Niagara Falls All Over Again

One of the most brilliantly written novels I've read in a long time is Elizabeth McCracken's Niagara Falls All Over Again. The story of a straight man in a vaudeville comedy team, it is so well and carefully written that it's impossible to put down. McCracken also wrote The Giant's House, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, but this book is better.

McCracken also does one other thing that just amazes me. Traditionally, male authors don't write particularly convincing female characters, and vice versa. This is probably the best, most thoughtful portrait of a male character by a female author that I've ever read.

It's very dark, very funny, very warm, and very human. Kind of like life.

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