Saturday, September 5, 2009
I finished reading The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon, the other day. It was the first book I read on my Kindle.
As far as the book goes, it was interesting. Not interesting in a bad way, when you're trying not to say anything negative, but interesting in a good way. Though I wouldn't say it was a page turner, it did keep you curious enough to turn the page (or in my case, press the button)...that is, until the end. To me the ending seemed that the author had run out of things to write, and so just ended it. Since I read this for book club, I'm curious to hear what the other's in the group thought.
MacArthur genius Hemon in his third book (after Nowhere Man) intelligently unpacks 100 years' worth of immigrant disillusion, displacement and desperation. As fears of the anarchist movement roil 1908 Chicago, the chief of police guns down Lazarus Averbuch, an eastern European immigrant Jew who showed up at the chief's doorstep to deliver a note. Almost a century later, Bosnian-American writer Vladimir Brik secures a coveted grant and begins working on a book about Lazarus; his research takes him and fellow Bosnian Rora, a fast-talking photographer whose photos appear throughout the novel, on a twisted tour of eastern Europe (there are brothel-hotels, bouts of violence, gallons of coffee and many fabulist stories from Rora) that ends up being more a journey into their own pasts than a fact-finding mission. Sharing equal narrative duty is the story of Olga Averbuch, Lazarus's sister, who, hounded by the police and the press (the Tribune reporter is especially vile), is faced with another shock: the disappearance of her brother's body from his potter's grave. (His name, after all, was Lazarus.) Hemon's workmanlike prose underscores his piercing wit, and between the murders that bookend the novel, there's pathos and outrage enough to chip away at even the hardest of hearts.
And in other news...
There was a feature written about me on justnibbles.blogspot.com...I would love it if you guys would go and check it out.