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A daily record of what I'm thinking about what I'm reading

To read about movies and TV shows I'm watching, visit my other blog: Elliot's Watching

Friday, May 26, 2017

Deane (Seamus)

At the end of section 3 of Seamus Deanne's excellent (and only?) novel, Reading in the Dark, the plot tightens another notch - another "turn of the screw" we might say esp in noting Deanne's evocation of that James novel in the first story the narrator's aunt Katie tells. In the 3rd story she tells, this one more like a brief confession or cri de coeur, ( no spoilers don't worry) of a strange twist in her relationship to the narrator's mother - all of which puts the mysterious disappearance of uncle Eddie into yet another perspective. The narrator is now about 14 and bearing the burden of holding many family secrets - he actually knows more than his elders about the tortured family history, twisted and shaped by the "troubles" in n Ireland. He's also of course at this point in his life feeling his first waves of sexual desire - which leads to another hilarious chapter, the facts of life, in which a well-meaning but feckless priest speaks to the narrator about same, as the narrator struggles between his desire to ask questions and to seem cool and knowledgeable. He also goes on his first movie date, another funny chapter that, like so much else in this novel blends humor w pathos - as the narrator gets roughed up by a rival , which turns out like much else in this novel and in the culture of its time and place to have a political dimension as well. This is a truly fine coming-of-age novel, thoughtful, graceful, and accessible.

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