Friday, May 1, 2015

Back after Blog Challenge

Have you missed me here?  April may not be the "cruellest month" as Eliot suggests, but it can be the busiest.  This past month, along with my usual Poem a Day Challenge on Poetic Asides, I have also participated in the A to Z Blogging Challenge on my other site Alabama Tarheel. In my spare time, I've been grading essays--dozens, maybe hundreds, here as the semester winds down.

Don't worry, though; I have been reading too.  I encountered something new, too. I decided to listen to Stephen L. Carter's The Emperor of Ocean Park, and I found it an intriguing story.  Somehow, though, I lost threads of the narrative or couldn't quite figure out a character's significance. Only when I reached the end, when the reader thanked me for listening and gave credits to whoever was responsible for the condensed adaptation.  Aha!  I had just listened to something less than what the author intended. No wonder I had questions.  I had that feeling one gets when trying to keep up with a movie's story line while doing laundry, dishes, answering the phone.

I liked the main character, a law professor, married to a woman with sights set on a judge's seat, fathered by a judge, all part of what he calls "The Dark Nation."  After his father's death, a variety of individuals insist he knows his father's "arrangements"--obviously not referring to his funeral arrangements.  The back story includes the death of a younger sister, the victim of a hit and run driver.  His father had been tormented by the culprit's escape, for a time falling under the control of alcohol and anger.

Misha, the protagonist, ends up chasing the trail, trying to avoid the "bad guys" and the "good guys--but not the great guys," all of whom want what he can't even find.  Meanwhile, he's trying to deal with a rocky marriage (much of which must have been cut) and to be a good father to his young son.

I enjoyed the story but not enough to go back for the full dose.  I do want a disclaimer next time.

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