Archive for December, 2006

Ethan Canin

Palace Thief Don describes Ethan Canin as his favourite author. Canin’s books include ‘The Palace Thief’, and ‘Blue River’, “Emperor of the Air’ and “Carry Me Across the Water’ and ‘For Kings and Planets’

Most of us read The Palace Thief and it stimulated a lengthy discussion. The most common observations by bookgroupers included
– the writing had great simplicity but also clarity, vividness and believable characters
– nearly all the short stories were set in middle class American suburbia
– they had very little in terms of plot and
– they revolved around a climactic moment in which the main character made a mistake he regretted, saying or feeling something fairly mundane but something that he thinks in hindsight was both morally outrageous and had bad consequences. However, in each case these acts could not be undone and the character simply has to live with the consequences.

Subsequently I realised we completely forgot one of the short stories in The Palace Thief. It was about a divorced dad and addressed issues of masculinity, male/female relations etc and could have stimulated a whole other conversation.

It did not share many of the common elements of the others, so it is interesting that we forgot the odd one out.

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December 10, 2006 at 7:06 am Leave a comment


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