Saturday, December 01, 2007

First Half of Bridge of Sighs

I've been reading Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo. I LOVED Empire Falls. I really liked his style of writing and the depth of the characters. He had a great story as well. But here, I'm a little disappointed so far. I'm about half way through the over 500 pages (Allison, probably why I'm not excited to consider another 500 page book yet! :-). I was interested in the beginning and through the first 200 pages, but now it's sort of slowing down and I'm starting to lose interest. Again, he's pretty heavy in the character development but where Empire Falls had a great story, Bridge of Sighs lacks that (at least so far).

Again, Russo takes us to a small town in northeastern America. And again, the town is full of characters struggling to deal with everyday life. The timeline jumps around between the main character's childhood and present day. Russo does a good job of keeping what time we're in clearly defined, so its not hard to keep up. This book also reminds me a bit of I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe. Not in the story elements at all, but in my reaction to the book. I read Charlotte Simmons fairly quickly for the length of it and found it only mediocre. It was great in character development again, but I felt the story was a tad boring. Bridge of Sighs is shaping up to be a similar reading experience for me. But I guess you can't always have great characters, great story, and keep it exciting too, huh?

I do want to finish it and I hope it picks up a little in the second half, but I think I will take a break for a bit. I have two holiday books on hold at the library that I might try in the meantime. The first, Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris, sounds like an amusing collection of short memoirs about Christmas. For example, some of the stories are about Sedaris' experience working as an elf at Santaland at Macy's. I'm chuckling just thinking about the things he must have witnessed. The second book was a high recommendation from my mom and others, The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog by Dave Barry. Maybe I'll read those and come back to Bridge of Sighs. :-)

Oh, and I finished Murder is a Girl's Best Friend, the 2nd book in the Paige Turner Mystery series. I enjoyed this one even more than the first. Paige's best friend didn't annoy me quite so much and the ending didn't fizzle out as much as the first did. I'll continue to read the others in this series.

We're getting 8-10 inches of snow today so it seems it will be a nice cozy reading day in Minnesota! Enjoy your weekend!


allisonmariecat said...

Yeah, I have to spread out my 500-page book reading, too! I haven't read any Russo, so I'l have to look for him. Charlotte Simmons is not, in my opinion, particularly good Tom Wolfe. So if you feel like trying him again, pick up any other of his novels.

I'm glad you like the Paige Turners! They're good fun.

Holly said...

I've heard Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo is really good. Some people I've talked to weren't very excited about Empire Falls, but they really liked Nobody's Fool.