*drumroll* *drumroll* *drumroll*
That's right. SHOPPING!
HOWEVER, we weren't shopping for gifts; we were out buying and hunting down necessities. Boring life. Boring people. ^_~
Anyway, here's the Book-Review-of-the-Day: (^^;Leavitt, David. The Page Turner. New York: Mariner Books, 1999. (First Printing: 1998)Summary
: Aspiring pianist Paul Porterfield lands a one-time gig page-turning for the child-prodigy but now pushing forty piano maestro Richard Kennington, and when they happen to meet again in Rome, a fling ensues. Though it ends badly, Paul heads off to Juliard and NYC, finding himself a new sugar daddy and getting involved with Kennington's longtime mentor and partner Joseph Mansourian. Suffice to say that no one finds true love, and Paul discovers that his talent sorely lacking by the end. Comments
: Leavitt, considered to be one of America's foremost contemporary authors, writes in prose that is spare, deceptively simple, and beautiful, the meaning heavily weighted in the content of the dialogue. I admire such writing greatly and tend to use similar tactics in my own; in some ways it reminds me of Hemmingway, but Leavitt writes far, far more accessibly. Yet, don't be fooled by the apparent ease of the reading; the characters and their lives mirror each others' in myriad fashions. Paul believes himself to be better than he is; his mother less worthy than she really is. Paul's teacher sacrifices her brilliant talent to be second staff to another genius; Paul realizes that he is going to be second-staff or nothing. Paul IS a sort of second staff in his relationships with older men. And so forth. Moreover, you really CARE about these characters; I cringed when Pamela flirted with Kennington and ached when Paul realized he'd never be able to achieve his dreams. Still, I was rather disappointed by the ending, which didn't feel like an ending at all so much as the author deciding it was time to quit. (I can almost see him heaving a sigh of relief as he polished off that last sentence.) I'm not really certain I particularly like the ultimate message of the novel, either--that life is suffering, but we should make the absolute best of each moment, and that there is especial honor to being second-staff to your lover (err...I hope it's just coincidence that Leavitt dedicated this novel to his). The former part sounds very Buddhist to me, actually, which is probably just coincidental as the author is very much the Europhile. Notes
: trade paperback, 1st printingRating
- A quick, but most definitely worthwhile read, and highly recommended to fans of American and/or gay fiction.