Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The effortless prose of a genius

You know, up until a few days ago I had never delved into a novel by John Updike. Isn't that terrible? I spent too many years reading science fiction, I think. I have read some of his poetry and reviews but never a novel. The novel I am reading is his new one called "Terrorist."

Updike hardly needs my endorsement to get this writing thing to work for him but I am always amazed when I open a book written by someone with his skill. Like Vidal and Steinbeck his prose seems effortless. It's not great literature because he is trying to write great literature, it's not self-consciously complicated or overly descriptive. It's great literature because it is his writing, nothing more. He's just so talented and dedicated that he can't help but write something great. I am in awe as I read it.

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