I have taken an axe to this novel. It is HORRIFYING. I was almost done, could see the end, and all at once I stopped fighting to make it go how I wanted and am letting it go how it wants to go. Not two voices. Three. THREE! I hacked it open and threw some pink-n-pretty vital organs sideways and am replacing them with pig valves and robot parts, letting the Liza-monster tell her part in it, because you can’t HAVE a Liza-monster and not let it speak. RIGHT? Right.
Right? I hope right. Because otherwise a perfectly good book is in chunks on my floor for no reason. Heh.
This means the stack of Southern Fiction I have been saving up to savor when drafting is done all got shoved back in the closet. I am reading ANYTHING except Southern as I sniff out Liza’s voice, and have found some things you might VERY well like, but be warned, none of these books is what I would call sweet. None of these books are for the squeamish. They are not tuned to the sensibilities of those with delicate constitutions. And they are also not at ALL Southern…
From Baltimore (natch) and the DC area: I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman. Best. Laura. Lippman. Ever. And I think she is a goddess. SO. That’s sayin’ something. Read by Linda Emond, who leans more toward a straight read than an acting job. She lets the language and the story speak, which is never a bad idea when it’s Lippman’s language and story.
From Vancouver Island: Still Missing by Chevy Stevens. A debut that makes me all atwitter to see what she does next. It’s being marketed as a mystery/thriller, but it has a lot of elements of a family drama book club type of book, too. I listened to the audio version, and I think Angela Dawe’s expressive, dramatic style and throaty voice added to my enjoyment.
Meanwhile, across the pond in Ireland: Faithful Place by Tana French. I think her first book remains my favorite, but only because I read it first. All three books in this linked series deliciously chewy and dark. I read this one with my eyes, so no idea how the audio is. I can tell I highly recommend THE LIKENESS audio.
Want less body parts, more South, less mayhem, more sass, maybe some bittersweet humor and a helluva of a voice? Fine. The last southern book I read before I picked the up the axe was TRULY lovely. The Sweet By and By by Todd Johnson. He’s one to watch.
Meanwhile, right after I finished listening to I’D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE, I went to cyber stalk Lippman in a red wash of fan-grrrrl-nerd-passion, and I found THE BEST MEME EVER (click here to play) on her blog.
You get to put yourself into a Time magazine cover story. I already read all the ones on Lippman’s blog and tons of people I love are playing, to hilarious effect, including crime novelist Cornelia Read. GO PLAY! I played already, and my entry is comment 37. If YOU play, let me know or copy it here, I want to read yours.