Tuesday, February 13, 2007

House of Meetings by Martin Amis

My, what a pretty, pretty book.

When I refer to House of Meetings as a pretty book I am not referring to the subject matter, plot or style of the book. I am instead referring to the lovely way that Martin Amis can string words together to make beautiful lyrical sentences, succinct and inventive turns of phrase and amazing descriptive passages.

Now on to the plot, which is one of the oldest, about two brothers and their love (or lust) of the same woman. Set in a Russian prison, both brothers are sent there, for being enemies of the state. Although their crimes are the same, each has a very different viewpoint about what it is to be human and how life is to be lived in an utterly bleak and unforgiving environment.

In the end, the plot loosens a bit too much for my taste and the ending is anticlimactic. If you love to wallow in language this is a book for you, if you read for a tightly plotted novel you may want to pass on this one.

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